COLUMN: Great Backyard Bird Count and Central Park Nature Center Open House

Michele Olson
Jones County Naturalist

     Mark your calendars and plan to attend the “Central Park Nature Center Open House and Great Backyard Bird Count” event on Friday, Feb. 16.

     Check out our Central Park Lake Restoration progress as you drive through Central Park on your way to the Nature Center.  Our lake is getting deeper!

     Open House events will begin at 10 a.m. with a Friends of Jones County Conservation and Nature Center Soup Lunch Fundraiser served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Nature Center’s lower level. Lunch is offered to all with free will donations accepted going toward Jones County Environmental Education programming.

     Come check out Central Park Nature Center’s interactive educational exhibits from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Make a pine cone birdfeeder to take home, play some interactive bird identification games, and learn how to participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count as you observe birds at the Nature Centers feeders.

     If you would like to improve your winter bird identification skills join us at 5 p.m. in the Nature Center’s lower level for a winter bird identification program.

     Since its beginning in 1998, by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society, more than 160,000 people of all ages and birding abilities worldwide have participated in the Great Backyard Bird Count to help create a snapshot of bird distributions and abundance.

     Participation in the Great Backyard Bird Count, which runs Feb. 16-19, takes only 15 minutes at a minimum. Anyone can participate from any location around the world. Last year GBBC participants counted birds in over 100 countries, documenting 6,200 species of birds.

     You can count birds in your backyard, City Park, outside your office window, in your schoolyard, or at a county or state park or wildlife area. You don’t even have to be a seasoned “birdwatcher” to participate. The GBBC website ( provides wonderful resources for aiding in bird identification. Everyone can participate! I encourage families and school classes to count our birds. Learn about the birds in your neighborhood, communities, and state. Be a part of worldwide citizen science! It’s easy and fun!



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