It’s Global Big Day. Look outside today, notice any birds, and you can be part of the largest biodiversity-related citizen science project in the world. Consider it a home science lab for all of us.
Whether you see a lone bird or flocks where you live, record your observations on eBird, which is managed by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and was founded with Audubon. Cumulatively, all of that collected data helps scientists understand global bird population trends and answer conservation questions. You needn’t be a veteran birder or ornithology professor to join in. With the free eBird app you can record species from the field or kitchen window, and keep track of the birds you see on a single day, and over a lifetime.
Not sure what that red-white-and-black bird is? Answer a few simple questions—size, colors, location—on Cornell Lab’s free Merlin Bird ID app for impressively accurate suggestions. Since downloading Merlin, I’ve been surprised by how gratifying it is to identity and learn a new species.
Here are some of the birds I saw in my yard and submitted this Global Big Day. Yes, that’s snow in May.