Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Great Backyard Bird Count

The Great Backyard Bird Countis an annual four-day event. This year is will be on February 12-15 (Thursday - Monday).

Bird watchers of all ages will be counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are across the continent. Anyone can participate, from beginning bird watchers to experts. You can spend 15 minutes on one day or all all four days getting involved.

The count is a collaborative effort of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Audubon. Participants are helping scientists learn about bird populations. It's also a good activity to get kids interested in the nature that's literally in their backyard.

GBBC events are all over North America. Below are events listed for New Jersey. Additional events are listed on their website.

GBBC Birding Seminar
When: Saturday, February 6, 10:00 AM-Noon
Where: Forest Road Park building at Fanwood Nature Center. Join the Fanwood Environmental Commission for an information session and birding seminar. Learn about birds that come to your feeder with birding expert, Holly Hoffman. Pre-registration required. Walk-ins welcome depending on space availability. Also learn how to count birds for the GBBC. Participate in bird activities and games to learn how to identify birds and how they adapt to different habitats. Pick up a bio-degradable bird feeder kit. Attractive door prizes! This is a free event open to all ages and skill levels. Children will receive participation certificate and a bird patch. On Valentine’s Day, February 14, we invite you to the Fanwood Nature Center to join volunteers to count birds for the GBBC. To register for birding seminar on Feb 6, forms available at or the Fanwood Borough Hall. Drop off completed registration form by Feb 3, at Fanwood Borough Hall or call to register at 908-322-8236 or email registration to

GBBC at Duke Farms
Where: 80 Route 206 South, enter via the gate at Dukes Parkway East
-Friday, February 12, 10:00-Noon: GBBC Bird Walk
Members of the Natural Resources staff at Duke Farms will lead volunteers along trails on the property to record bird species and numbers. Bird watchers of all levels, including beginners, are invited to attend. Free, no pre-registration required. Meet at the Visitors Center.

-Saturday and Sunday, February 13-14, 10 AM- 3:00 PM: Trails Open for GBBC Counting
Bird watchers who wish to participate in the GBBC should pick up checklists at the Visitors Center before heading out to tally birds, or they may count birds at the feeders located outside the Visitors Center. Free, no pre-registration required.

Contact: For directions to Duke Farms or for more information on their their birding and other educational programs, visit or call (908) 722-3700.

GBBC at Flat Rock Brook
When: Sunday, February 14, 2:00 – 3:30 PM
Where: Flat Rock Brook Nature Center, 443 Van Nostrand Avenue, Englewood. Be a “citizen scientist” and participate in the GBBC. Learn to identify New Jersey’s winter birds and then take a guided walk to identify and count all the birds we can find. Our data will be used by scientists to analyze bird populations. Bring binoculars or borrow ours. No need to pre-register. For adults and children age 8 and older.
Contact: (201) 567-1265 ext 203,, or visit our website:

GBBC at Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge
When: Sunday, February 14, 11:00 AM- 3:00 PM
Where: Wallkill Refuge Headquarters, 1547 County Route 565, Vernon. Friends of the Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge are inviting the public to help count the birds for the GBBC. Participants are welcome to stop in and watch the birds at the refuge feeders from the warmth of the building or walk along the trail. A presentation on birdfeeding will be given at 1:00 PM. Volunteers Herb Houghton and Giselle Smisko will be available to answer questions and assist new birdwatchers with identification pointers. The program is free.
Contact: or call (973) 702-1957

GBBC at Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center – Chatham
When: Saturday, Feb. 13, 9:00 AM -4:00 PM
Where: 247 Southern Blvd, Chatham. Pick up an observation packet at the visitor center and go out to your favorite vantage point to count birds. A staff naturalist will be at the visitor center counting the feeder birds and answering any questions. A great way to participate in the count! FREE. Ages 5 & up
Contact: The Great Swamp OEC, (973) 635-6629

GBBC and Earth Center Birdcount
When: Sunday, Feb. 14, 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Where: Davidson Mill Pond Park, 42 Riva Avenue, North Brunswick. The Middlesex NJ Master Gardeners group is hosting its "Earth Center 3rd Annual Birdcount" in conjunction with the Great Backyard Bird Count on this day. We will hand out a bird checklist for your use and free coffee, and suggest you bring binoculars and a bird field guide if you have one. Beginners and experienced birders welcome!
Contact: Pat Evans,

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