Counting the birds - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Counting the birds

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February 17, 2006

Albany-- No, Donnie Lanier is not spying on his neighbors, but taking count of birds and the species of bird in his backyard.

February seventeenth through the twenty-first is the Great Backyard Bird Count.

The count is used to understand more about the birds in North America, and how their migratory patterns work. "some of them migrate just a short distance, Some of them migrate a long distances, I think its just to get an idea of where the birds are in the middle of the winter" said Donnie Lanier, a local bird watcher.

This year's information could help show how birds may have been affected in areas that were hit by hurricanes Katrina and Rita as well as update numbers on declining species such as the Rusty Blackbird. Mr. Lanier says the bird count is very helpful to the survival of birds overall.

"I don't know if it will help protect them, but it will give us an idea of where they are, we know that some species are declining, and it give us an idea of where they are this particular time of the year" said Lanier.

Last year more than 52,000 checklists were sent in, with a record breaking 613 species and more than 6.5 million birds counted in the United States alone.

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