Great Backyard Bird Count: Join the Count in Our Backyard
Athens-Limestone is fortunate to have an amazing collection of natural spaces that are available to the public to explore. From city and county parks to the shores of the Tennessee and Elk Rivers to the collection of trails -- these spaces are teeming wildlife, especially birds. These amazing opportunities to birdwatch lends itself well to the annual Great Backyard Bird Count sponsored by Audubon, The Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Bird Studies Canada.
The Great Backyard Bird Count or GBBC was started in 1998 to use citizen-scientist to help collect data on birds and display it in real time. Each February over 160,000 people all over the world contribute data to the project having identified 5,689 species. Each year's list of a variety of birds is generated based on location that feature species that they hope to find or have small numbers recorded previously.
This year's list for Limestone County includes Bald Eagles, Belted Kingfishers, Barn Owls, Pine Warblers, House Finches among the over 160 types of birds they are seeking information on. The list is available at gbbc.birdcount.org under GBBC Tool Kit > Bird List. The list offers links with most birds names so you see what they look like or you can download the Merlin Bird ID app to your phone for when you're on the go.
The GBBC is great opportunities for bird lovers, girl scouts, boy scouts, home schools and community schools to explore their feathered neighbors and help in the collection of data. The bird count can take as little 15 minutes, in the location of your choice and simple tools of paper and pen for recording species, tallying numbers of each and noting where, when and how long you watched. You can explore detailed instruction on gbbc.birdcount.org under GBBC Tool Kit > Instructions.
Here are just a few suggestion of areas of Limestone County that are awaiting you for this year's GBBC from February 17-20: