by Alex Clark
The only thing that can make a garden more lively than the bright, exuberant colors of flowers, is the subtle, yet amusing presence of birds.
Here are are four things you can do to learn more about birds and enjoy them in your garden.
The Great Backyard Bird Count
Help out your community by participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count. This was the first online citizen-science project to collect data on wild birds and to display results in near real-time. Since it started 18 years ago, more than 100,000 people of all ages and walks of life have joined the four-day count each February to create an annual snapshot of the winter distribution and abundance of birds.
The Great Backyard Bird Count will take place from Feb. 12 to 15. Simply tally the numbers and kinds of birds you see for at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the count.
Find more information about the count or how to apply by visiting the website.
Learn about bird anatomy
Cornell’s Institute of Ornithology has created Bird Academy, an interactive tool that allows you to study the anatomy of a bird and place more than 100 parts in the proper location. This tool makes learning fun. Start building your bird today!
Audubon Bird Guide app
Audubon has released an updated version of the Audubon Bird Guide app and it’s now free to anyone nationwide. With 821 species’ profiles and 3,200-plus world-renowned bird photos, Audubon’s award-winning app instantly turns any mobile device into the most trusted field guide in North America.
To download the Audubon Bird Guide, click here.
BirdSleuth School Garden Grants
Make your school more wildlife friendly and make the birds come to you with a BirdSleuth School Garden Grant.
The application deadline is Feb. 15.
In addition to food gardens, preference will be given to bird, pollinator, native habitat, rain, and other natural projects. BirdSleuth School Garden Grants is planning to award ten K-12 schools, public and private within the United States, a $500-$2,000 grant, gardening supplies, and BirdSleuth’s Habitat Connections kit. Funds may be used to support the building or revitalization of school gardens.