A Yellow Warbler rests in some branches Sunday, May 10, in the Horsefly area. (Ivan Hardwick photo)

Bird Blitz at Home offers chance to enjoy nature from comfort of own backyard

Whether from your backyard, balcony or garden, Birds Canada is asking: what birds can you find?

During the month of May, Birds Canada is inviting anyone interested in birds to participate in its Bird Blitz at Home amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

And with spring weather now, seemingly, fully upon Cariboo residents, more birds will be out and about in gardens and back yards in the region.

Whether from your backyard, balcony, garden or window, Birds Canada is asking: what birds can you find?

“Explore the birds near you and participate in Bird Blitz at Home any time during the month of May. It’s fun for all ages, participating is easy, and your observations help scientists monitor Canada’s birds,” states the event website.

Last season, 186 species were observed by schools across the country. The top five most-reported species in schoolyards were: American Robin, American Crow, Black-capped Chickadee, Common Grackle and House Sparrow.

While surveying the schoolyard is on pause for this year, students and residents can bird watch with their families at home and participate in the Bird Blitz at Home.

READ MORE: Field naturalists ready for 52d annual Christmas bird count this Sunday

The event has been broken down into three steps for ease of participation.

1.) Prepare for your bird count:

• You can download and print your bird count resources online, including a bird identification guide and a bird tally log.

2.) Count birds:

• Choose any day in May to conduct your bird count, or participate several times throughout the month

• Observe birds for as little as 15 minutes, or all day

• Keep track of your observations or record them on the bird tally form

Birds Canada has offered up several tips, as well, for anyone new to bird viewing.

• Be observant, using eyes and ears to find birds in all the different habitats that make up your space. Birds can be found on the ground foraging for food, taking shelter in shrubs or trees, flying across the yard or high up in the sky.

• Take note of size, shape, colours and patterns, songs and calls, behaviours and habitats of birds.

• Be aware of repeat observations during your count period. Try not to double-count moving birds.

3.) Report and share your observations:

• You can register or login to NatureCounts to submit your bird observations. Nature Counts is the interactive data portal for Birds Canada’s National Data Centre. It allows anyone interested in birds to interact with one of the largest data sets on birds anywhere in the world.

• You can also view bird data, exploring the birds from any province across Canada

• Submit your observations to qualify for a chance to win a bird-friendly yard prize from Pinebush Home and Garden and West Coast Seeds. Winners will be randomly drawn from submitted data entries and tagged posts on social media.

Participants are also being asked to use the hashtag #HomeBirdBlitz on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram when sharing photos on social media.



greg.sabatino@wltribune.com

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A Yellow-Rumped Warbler takes in a view of some open water Sunday, May 10, in the Horsefly area. (Ivan Hardwick photo)

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