Scientists use data from the Great Backyard Bird Count, along with observations from other citizen-science projects, to determine the status of winter bird populations.
During last year’s count, more than 97,300 bird checklists were submitted by an estimated 63,000 people across the United States and Canada. Participants counted 602 species and 11.2 million individual birds.
In Washington, people last year counted 517,478 birds and 203 species. Among local counts: Olympia had 11,408 birds and 101 species; Tacoma had 3,996 birds and 75 species; Gig Harbor had 2,908 birds and 90 species; and Lacey had 1,264 birds and 57 species.
The count also includes some special events. The Dungeness River Audubon Center in Sequim is offering free admission Feb. 19. From 10 a.m.-noon, people can go on a bird walk in Railroad Bridge Park with Audubon volunteers, then learn how to enter the data online using River Center’s computers. For information, contact the center at email@example.com or 360-681-4076.
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For more information on efforts by local groups, go to www.tahoma audubon.org for Pierce County or www.blackhills -audubon.org for Thurston, Mason and Lewis counties. For information on the count itself, go to www. birdsource.org/gbbc.