Contact: Bonnie Strawser - 252-473-1131
News ReleaseFebruary 3, 2006
NC Refuges Encourage Participation in the 9th Annual Great Backyard Bird Count
Photo credit: Jeff Lewis
Backyard bird feeders are only one source of entertainment for birders. Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge offers many bird species that would never be seen at your feeder! Pictured here: Purple Sandpiper, Sanderling, and Dunlin
Photo credit: USFWS, Lee Karney
Ann Marie Salewski, Interpretive Specialist for Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge lists a variety of chickadees, Northern Cardinals, Blue Jays, and Northern Flickers as species you may expect at a backyard bird feeder in our area. The House Finch, pictured above, is among the most common sightings in North America during the Great Backyard Bird Count.
February 17-20, 2006 has been designated for the 9th annual Great Backyard Bird Count. All across North America, people are being challenged to count birds ... in your backyard, off your balcony, in your schoolyard, in parks and refuges, and anywhere else that birds can be seen. There is no registration required; no fees are involved. This bird count is for all ages and all levels of expertise.
Last year, the top ten most commonly reported birds were Northern Cardinal, Mourning Dove, Dark-eyed Junco, Downy Woodpecker, Blue Jay, House Finch, Tufted Titmouse, American Crow, and Black-capped Chickadee. Data collected from the 2005 count provided important anecdotal information about birds ranging from the flight routes of Sandhill Cranes to the report of Bohemian Waxwings in Oregon.
To participate in the count, first visit www.birdsource.org/gbbc for easy-to-follow instructions and local checklists. You may take part in the count on any or all of the days. Then, report your results on-line at the same site. You'll be able to watch the results as they come in, throughout the count.
Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge Manager Mike Bryant encourages North Carolinians to participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count this year. "This is a great way to get involved in one of the fastest growing forms of outdoor recreation. We invite everyone to visit a national wildlife refuge during this count. Even if there's no staff around, there's always another birder nearby to assist you with identification. And, birders are among the friendliest folks you'll ever meet!."
Local birders and refuge volunteers Pat and Neal Moore lead bird walks on North Pond Wildlife Trail on Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge on most Fridays of the year. They invite the public to join them on February 17. "This would be a great time to learn some bird ID and create a list to send in for the count," commented Ms. Moore. "We're there on Fridays, and everyone is welcome to join us."