From Wildlife Extra:
US Great Backyard Bird Count sets new records
March 2007 -In just four days in February, participants in the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC, the US version og the Big Garden Birdwatch) tallied more than 11 million birds across the United States and Canada.
Together, they recorded 616 species and submitted more than 80,000 checklists, 33% more than the previous high of 61,000 checklists in 2000.
Click here to see the UK Big Garden Birdwatch results.
‘There has never been a more detailed snapshot of continental bird distribution in history,’ said John Fitzpatrick, director of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
‘It used to take scientists years to gather large-scale information about bird population and distribution, and the GBBC does it in just four days each year, thanks to a continent wide community of birders reporting their counts online.’
Participant Lorraine Margeson counted a flock of 750,000 robins roosting in a mangrove forest in St. Petersburg, Florida.
‘In the morning, the robins just pour out of there,’ she observed.
‘It’s spectacular with the sunrise on their red bellies. When you see it, you think this is what makes life worth living.’
This year’s rare birds included five Lesser Prairie-Chickens in Oklahoma and two Pink-footed Geese in Rhode Island, first records for the GBBC.
Prairie Chickens nearly disappeared from the Minnesota landscape as prairie habitat became farmland, but the birds are making a comeback on the Glacial Ridge National Wildlife Refuge near Crookston: here.