Great Backyard Bird Count 2016

Hark, love, while through this wood we walk,
Beneath melodious trees,
How wrens with redbreasts ever talk
What tuneful words they please…
No graybeard linguis
t, love, could vie
With our large learning, then!
You’d speak to me in Redbreast; I
Would answer you in Wren!
~Edgar Fawcett, “Bird-Language,” Songs of Doubt and Dream, 1891

Northern Flicker in Graveyard Coulee by Kelly Wicks, 2015

I thought I’d change up the activities a bit.  Birding or bird watching can be a very easy way to exercise or just another excuse to get outside.  Its a low impact on the body, it has relatively slow moving or non moving aspects.  It can be done in groups, by yourself. In open areas or in your own backyard! The Great Backyard Bird Count is February 12th -15th, 2016.  If you plan on coming out for the group event I suggest bringing, binoculars/telescope and or camera.  Don’t bring to much stuff as YOU will have to carry it. There is also a photo contest if you wish to enter, to win bird feeders.

I will have this checklist February Checklist for 59330, Glendive, Dawson County, MT, Birds of Montana Field Guide and Audobon Society Field Guide to Birds, binoculars, notepad and camera with me.  I also have an account with GBBC, so I will upload any data we get.  That way you don’t have to create an account, if you don’t want too. 🙂

If you want more information or just want to do it from home check out: Great Backyard Bird Count Homepage for more information.

Birds are mostly active during early morning and in the evening and in between, pending on the weather and bird.  I will do my best to be at the locations by 6:45am… sunrise will be around 7am.


  • Friday 12th 7:00-8/9am  Black Bridge Fishing Access.
    • Meet at 2nd (middle) parking lot.
    • Walk and observe.
  • Friday 12th 10:00am-12 pm Hollecker Park/Lake.
    • Meet at parking lot. Walk around or sit to observe.
  • Friday 12th 3:00 pm-5:30pm   Makoshika State Park.
    • Meet at bottom of switchbacks.
    • Walk up switchback road and Ponderosa Trail area.
  • Saturday 13th 7:00 am  Boat Ramp Area, Behind MT DOT.
    • Meet in parking lot. Stay on public access.
  • Saturday 13th  10:00 am  Makoshika State Park.
    • Meet at Visitors Center.
    • Will look for birds behind the visitor’s center along the Blue Bird Trail.
  • Saturday 13th 3:00 pm ABC Little League Fields/Area.


Why count birds?

Scientists and bird enthusiasts can learn a lot by knowing where the birds are. Bird populations are dynamic; they are constantly in flux. No single scientist or team of scientists could hope to document and understand the complex distribution and movements of so many species in such a short time.

Scientists use information from the Great Backyard Bird Count, along with observations from other citizen-science projects, such as the Christmas Bird Count, Project FeederWatch, and eBird, to get the “big picture” about what is happening to bird populations. The longer these data are collected, the more meaningful they become in helping scientists investigate far-reaching questions, like these:

• How will the weather and climate change influence bird populations?

• Some birds, such as winter finches, appear in large numbers during some years but not others. Where are these species from year to year, and what can we learn from these patterns?

• How will the timing of birds’ migrations compare with past years?

• How are bird diseases, such as West Nile virus, affecting birds in different regions?

• What kinds of differences in bird diversity are apparent in cities versus suburban, rural, and natural areas?

The Great Backyard Bird Count is led by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, with Bird Studies Canada and many international partners. The Great Backyard Bird Count is powered by eBird. The count is made possible in part by founding sponsor Wild Birds Unlimited.




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