The Davenport Public Library presents "The Great Backyard Bird Count" -- January 19.

Tuesday, January 19, 1 p.m.

Presented by the Davenport Public Library

With Wapsi River Center naturalist Becky Baugh leading what promises to be a fascinating presentation, the Davenport Public Library will host a virtual program for bird watchers of all ages in The Great Backyard Bird Count, a January 19 program offering information on an important annual event sponsored by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society.

Launched in 1998 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) was the first online citizen science project to collect data on wild birds and display results in near-real time. Birds Canada joined the project in 2009 to provide an expanded capacity to support that country's participation, and in 2013, the Great Backyard Bird Count became a global project when it began entering data into eBird, the world’s largest biodiversity-related citizen science project. The annual Bird Count is a free, fun, and easy event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of bird populations. Participants are asked to count birds for as little as 15 minutes (or as long as they wish) on one or more days of the four-day event and report their sightings online at BirdCount.org. Anyone can take part in the Great Backyard Bird Count, from beginning bird watchers to experts, and people can participate from their own backyards or anywhere in the world.

Each checklist submitted during the GBBC helps researchers at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society learn more about how birds are doing, and how to protect them and the environment we share. Recently, more than 160,000 participants submitted their bird observations online, creating the largest instantaneous snapshot of global bird populations ever recorded. And bird populations are always shifting and changing. In 2014, GBBC data highlighted a large irruption of Snowy Owls across the northeastern, mid-Atlantic, and Great Lakes areas of the United States. The data also showed the effects that warm weather patterns have had on bird movement around the country. The 24th-annual Great Backyard Bird Count will be held this year from Friday, February 12, through Monday, February 15, and at BirdCount.org, participants can explore real-time maps and charts that show what others are reporting during and after the count.

The Great Backyard Bird Count will be presented at 1 p.m. on January 19, registration is required for the free program, and an event URL will be sent via e-mail. For more information and to register, call (563)326-7832 or visit DavenportLibrary.com.

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