Monday, January 25, 2010

UK's Big Garden Birdwatch

The UK's Big Garden Birdwatch (BGB) is coming up this weekend (January 30-31). See:

It's similar to our Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC), which takes place from February 12-15 this year. But there are a few differences:

1. The BGB is limited to two days (Saturday and Sunday), compared to four days for the GBBC (Friday through Monday).

2. With the BGB you are limited to just a single one-hour session, on either Saturday OR Sunday. In contrast, the GBBC web site notes: "Count birds in as many places and on as many days as you like—one day, two days, or all four days. Submit a separate checklist for each new day. You can also submit more than one checklist per day if you count in other locations on that day."

3. You can't count flyovers during the BGB ("Do record the ones that actually land – don't record the birds that fly over"). The GBBC lets you include birds in flight.

The BGB web site lists fifteen common garden birds for beginners to look for: All but about three of them would be new life birds for me.

Finally, I've gleaned an interesting factoid from the BGB web site: "We've lost more than half our house sparrows, and three-quarters of our starlings, and your results have certainly helped highlight these dramatic declines." I think they've all moved to my neighborhood. :-)

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