The 15th annual Great Backyard Bird Count is today through Monday.
The four-day event is free and open to bird watchers of all ages and skill levels. Bird watchers across the U.S. and Canada will tally millions of birds in the annual count coordinated by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Audubon, and Canadian partner Bird Studies Canada.
Participants watch birds at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the count and enter their tallies at birdcount.org. The internet results will be updated hourly in the form of animated maps and colorful graphs and participants will be able to see their observations on a national scale.
In addition, the web site provides bird check lists by region, identification tips and access to photos, sounds, maps, and natural history information on more than 500 bird species. Participants can also submit photos to an online gallery showcasing winter birds found during the GBBC.
The GBBC is a fun and easy event to experience birding while providing valuable scientific information at both the local and national level, Black Hills National Forest wildlife biologist Patrice Lynch said. Data sheets must be submitted no later than Feb. 27.