Friday, February 15, 2008

Whole Lot of Birdin' Goin' on

So much going on! Bird podcasts.... fun new bird games... bird counts ... the duck stamp. BirdCouple hardly knows where to begin.




Let's start with the Greater Backyard Bird Count. Yes, it's underway, starting today, Feb. 15 and going through Feb. 18. More than 2,100 checklists have already been submitted.

As we wrote last year, the GBBC "is a great opportunity to get anyone with the slightest curiosity about the natural world involved in a little birding." Participants simply count the highest number of birds of each species seen during any 15 minute period over the four days of the count. You can check it out, and enter your checklists here.

This year, GBBC, which is a joint project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Audubon, has a new official blog of its own. AND, Rob Fergus, a National Audubon Society senior scientist, passed along this online identification game, which is both fun and a great way to test your I.D. skills.

So get countin'! (Full disclosure - BirdCouple can't participate this year.. we're helping with a waterbird survey of the Patuxent River and then off to the beach ... to bird). But we'll be watching the watchers....

.... In other news, those folks at The Biggest Twitch are cruising along in their effort to break the world record for number of bird species seen in a single year (It now stands at 3,662). As of a couple of days ago, Alan Davies and Ruth Miller were in Ethiopia, and have seen 1,468 species this year. Wow. That beats our life lists by a mile! We wish them well and safe travels...


Moving right along.... Georgia's Steve Moore, who is a regular visitor at this site, has started a new podcast called BirdwatchRadio.com



Steve, we look forward to listening, and will add it our iTunes podcast list. What would Audubon have thought of podcasts? Or Roger Tory Peterson? Hmmm....

... In other important bits and pieces, most of our readers probably already have seen, or at least heard of, the PBS series on the Red Knot and how its survival is intertwined with that of the Horseshoe Crab. But if you haven't, the web site is here. The Website looks great - just check out this download-able wallpaper:


What would Audubon have thought of downloads?

.... Last, but certainly not least, Paul Baicich passes along news that the federal government is proposing to increase the cost of the Duck Stamp from $15 to $25. This could bring in an additional $14 million to secure and preserve wetlands and other habitat, but the idea is bound to cause a fair bit of debate...

Phew!

Stay tuned this weekend as BirdCouple reports from the highways, byways and seashore of southern and eastern Maryland.

Princess: Here are our weekend goals: 1 new life bird, 20 new year birds, 90 species overall, and enough new county birds to get me to the 1,000 "tick" mark in Maryland. And lots of fun.

1 comment:

Nervous Birds said...

I would pay the extra cost for the Duck Stamp without question. I've had to adjust for higher electric bills, taxes, gas and groceries... so I'm used to rising prices.

I'm not saying I like this current trend, but I am used to it.

More fittingly, I just wanted to say that I enjoy the wisdom and knowledge that the Bird Couple's blog provides.

I'm sure you got your weekend life bird. The Haas Family hopes the Strobel Family had a fantastic weekend.

We need to do a quick adventure around around our region sometime soon. Highlights could include: Peregrine Falcons performing their courtship, Great Horned Owls up close, American Woodcocks calling at dusk, and who knows what else?

-Dan