Attention all iNatters – are you aware that this weekend is the Great Backyard Bird Count?

Did you listen to the CBC radio this morning and hear about the Great Backyard Bird Count? Are you keen to participate but aren’t an expert birder and feel timid about sharing your observations? If yes, read on!

Let’s use the GBBC as a simple iNat training exercise.

Let’s assume that you have a birdfeeder in your back yard. Now grab a coffee, your camera, and a pad of paper. Have your watch or some other timing device handy.
Set a timer for 15 minutes.
Take photos of any visitors to your feeder. They may not all be birds!
Count the number of individuals for different types of birds. (you don’t need to know the species – you just need to know that they look different – and you may in the end be counting male birds of a species versus female birds).

Upload your photos to iNaturalist
• if you have multiple photos of one species/gender then combine as one observation on iNat.

• In the iNat description box enter text similar to the following – ‘Observed visitors to birdfeeder over a 15 minute period as part of the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC). [insert number] [insert species name] were observed over this time period’
• Enter your location info and assign a placeName. Pin this location.
• Upload your observations to iNaturalist

Check iNat later in the day and see if your observations have been identified by the community and if they are now all tagged as ResearchGrade.

Perhaps you wish to stop here or maybe you are keen and want to share with the GBBC project - For information on how to get started see
Follow the GBBC directions - use your pinned location and enter your iNat species checklist along with counts.

Repeat later in the same day or at a different location or different day.

(you may need a practice run to get organized – during my first attempt I was sitting too far away from the window to take photos and when I moved closer I scared them away – so get positioned first!
During my first practice run I saw 2 song sparrows, 1 junco, and a squirrel

Have fun and happy iNatting!

For more info on the GBBC click here

Posted by mkkennedy mkkennedy, February 13, 2020 14:44


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