January 1st, 2012 Bob
You don’t need to wait until October to start recording your observations of Oklahoma’s biodiversity. With the Project Noah website and mobile app, anyone with a digital camera and the internet can start uploading your observations of organisms. Project Noah is a tool that nature lovers can use to explore and document wildlife and a platform research groups can use to harness the power of citizen scientists. The purpose of the project is to mobilize and inspire a new generation of naturalists. It began as an experiment to see if an app could be built for people to share their nature sightings and it has evolved into a powerful global movement for both amateurs and experts. The name “Noah” is an acronym that stands for Networked Organisms And Habitats.
You can set up an account in no time and begin uploading your pictures! Get started setting up your Project Noah profile. After you set up your account, sign up for the BioBlitz! Oklahoma Mission and be sure to select this Mission for your Oklahoma observations.
Our plan is to utilize Project Noah at the annual BioBlitz! Oklahoma event in October. Instead of collecting specimens, Citizen Scientists will be able to submit photos of organisms to Project Noah during the event. If the species is unknown to the observer, the spotting can be flagged as unknown and an Expert Biologist at Base Camp can identify it.
January 1st, 2012 Bob
The 2012 GBBC will take place Friday, February 17, through Monday, February 20. Please join us for the 15th annual count!
The Great Backyard Bird Count is an annual four-day event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are across the continent. Anyone can participate, from beginning bird watchers to experts. It takes as little as 15 minutes on one day, or you can count for as long as you like each day of the event. It’s free, fun, and easy—and it helps the birds.
▪ GBBC PowerPoint presentation
▪ Visit our special page for kids!
▪ Print a regional tally sheet
▪ Download the GBBC poster PDF
Participants count birds anywhere for as little or as long as they wish during the four-day period. They tally the highest number of birds of each species seen together at any one time. To report their counts, they fill out an online checklist at the Great Backyard Bird Count website.
As the count progresses, anyone with Internet access can explore what is being reported from their own towns or anywhere in the United States and Canada. They can also see how this year’s numbers compare with those from previous years. Participants may also send in photographs of the birds they see. A selection of images is posted in the online photo gallery.
It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3!
1. Plan to count birds for at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the count. You can count for longer than that if you wish! Count birds in as many places and on as many days as you like—one day, two days, or all four days. Submit a separate checklist for each new day. You can also submit more than one checklist per day if you count in other locations on that day.
2. Count the greatest number of individuals of each species that you see together at any one time. You may find it helpful to print out your regional bird checklist to get an idea of the kinds of birds you’re likely to see in your area in February. You could take note of the highest number of each species you see on this checklist.
3. When you’re finished, enter your results through our web page. You’ll see a button marked “Enter Your Checklists!” on the website home page beginning on the first day of the count. It will remain active until the deadline for data submission. (We’ll let you know when that is for 2012.)
Special Note: As the Great Backyard Bird Count has grown, more and more bird clubs, nature centers, and local parks are conducting special bird walks or hikes during the GBBC and having participants enter their tallies afterward. How you conduct a traveling count versus a stationary count is slightly different although you will enter your online tallies the same way.
Stationary Count: This is a count made in one area, such as your backyard, where you remain in one place. In this case, simply report the highest number of each species seen together at one time, as usual.
Traveling Count: This is a count made over a distance, such as birding on a trail. In this case you will count new birds of each species as you move along, but only if you can be relatively certain you did not count them previously. You’ll add the numbers for each species at the end of your walk.
Other helpful tools and information:
▪ Data Form Some people find it helpful to fill out the form before entering it on the website. By printing it off ahead of time, they know what information they need to be aware of, such as snow depth, for example.
▪ Downloadable instructions
▪ GBBC Photo Contest rules
▪ GBBC participation certificate to give out to students or to anyone who takes part in the GBBC. (The certificates for 2012 will be available when the GBBC begins.)
▪ Local events Have a look at events from the last count to get some ideas on what you could plan in your community for the next GBBC.
▪ If you’re a teacher looking to get your class involved with the GBBC, read through our educator’s materials for some ideas.
▪ If you’re new to bird watching, you might want to check out our “Learn About Birds” section. You’ll find help with tricky bird identifications, choosing binoculars, bird feeding tips, and much more.
REMEMBER! The Oklahoma Winter Bird Survey is January 5 – 8, 2002. Go to OK Winter Birds for more information and to submit your data.