By Andrew Harris
You might be surprised at the avian life in your own backyard, Western New York is home to dozens of year-round feathered residents and many more who live here on a part-time basis. We have locals like the common crow who never leave, winter residents like the snowy owl, and a host of tropical guests that spend the summer in our temperate forests.
Researchers keep close track of our birds and data collected by the average birdwatcher is key to understanding bird populations. The backyard bird count is one key tool in detecting statistical changes that inform researchers on how to focus their efforts. For example, a sharp decline in the number of rough-legged hawks would prompt research into conditions at the birds Canadian nesting grounds.
Participating is easy, fun to do alone or with others, and can be done anywhere you find birds. Visit, BirdCount.org for more information on how to report your counts:
Step 1: Decide where you will watch birds.
Step 2: Watch birds for 15 minutes or more, at least once over the four days, February 18-21, 2022.
Step 3: Count all the birds you see or hear within your planned time/location and use the best tool for sharing your bird sightings: