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Sunday, February 19, 2006

In the Belly of the GBBC Beast #6

As the third day of the GBBC winds down in the East, here are the latest rankings based on percentage of expected species reported:

1 West Virginia (68/65)--105%
2 Tennessee (106/120)--88%
3 Pennsylvania (104/123)--85%
4 Texas (292/358)--82%
5 Wisconsin (96/119)--81% (even in a blizzard!)
5 Florida (217/269)--81%
7 Arkansas (119/150)--79%
7 New York (121/154)--79%
9 Georgia (185/237)--78%
9 Iowa (63/81)--78%
9 Mississippi (104/134)--78%

Some good efforts out there, but my favorite sighting reported so far this year--for only the second time in the history of the GBBC, Common Ravens reported from Nunavut! Way to go up there! This is 50% of the potential species for the entire area! Its a lonely job being a birder on the edge of the arctic.

So far, we're above the rate of returns we got last year...but still below our highest pace in 2000. So, lots of birds out there to see. If you haven't done it yet, go outside and see some birds. Come back inside. Go to the GBBC website. Enter your sightings. Enjoy knowing that you helped out with an important study today.

If you take a look at the map, it is incredible to see how many people are out counting. But its also incredible to see the big gaps where nobody is counting. We're still missing reports of important species like ptarmigans, sage grouse, prairie chickens, seabirds, etc. And there are whole counties with no reports. And large metropolitan areas with less than a dozen reports. So, count the birds...and tell your neighbors to count and report theirs as well!

Tomorrow I'm going to be really hitting the emails, trying to scrounge up last minute sightings of the missing species. We really need those Hawaiian species. And exotic California parrots. And those game birds mentioned above. Somebody, somewhere, is going to be a hero and come through with sightings of these species.

Now accepting applications for bird heros!

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