Nebraska’s Wild Bird Habitat Stores are challenging everyone across the state to count the birds they see during the 2nd Annual Great Backyard Bird Count, February 15 to 18, 2019. You don’t have to be a bird enthusiast to participate in this free four-day bird count. Birds are everywhere we look and anybody can easily recognize our most common birds that live among us all year long.
 
So take the challenge. Count the birds. Count them in your yard or at your bird feeders. Venture out into the rural countryside or wildlife area and count birds. You can spend as little as 15 minutes to count the birds. You can count the birds on one day or all four days. Every bird counted and reported is valuable. Once you have collected your data enter it online at birdcount.org. When the count starts you can view real-time online results of the bird count in progress. Just remember on February 15 to 18 to count the birds. 
 
Everyone is encouraged to participate in this bird count no matter what age you are or level of birding experience you have. It doesn’t matter if you only count the five birds you recognize or the 75 bird species you identify on a walk through a city park or wildlife refuge. Every bird counted matters. This is a great opportunity for schools, families, organizations and individuals to become citizen scientists. It’s free and your data will make a world of difference for our birds.
 
There has been a negative impact on birds and bird populations, with a changing climate, continuing loss of habitats, and expanding human activity on a global scale. So the data provided by citizen scientists counting birds is proving to be invaluable. It helps to adopt on the ground conservation practices and policies. It helps to understand how weather impacts our birds and changes in their movements and migratory patterns especially in winter. And just as important your data provides many answers to biologists about birds while providing additional insights and raising new questions.
 
For information about the Great Backyard Bird Count and how to participate just go to birdcount.org at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology If you do not have Internet access you can still participate. Just stop in any Wild Bird Habitat Store in Lincoln or Omaha for a Great Backyard Bird Count packet, or contact us at (402) 420-2553. After you count the birds just return you data sheets to any Wild Bird Habitat Store and we will submit your results for you.