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This Year’s Great Backyard Bird Count Biggest Ever

The Northern Lapwing was spotted in the GBBC for the first time.

If there’s ever an instance when you deserve to pat yourself on the back, it’s this: the 2013 Great Backyard Bird Count became the largest worldwide bird count ever conducted.

The results are still trickling in, but as of today at 11:41, a record 123,437 checklists submitted and more than 26 million individual birds were counted. This was a jump from last year’s record-breaking numbers of 104,151 checklists and 17.4 million individual birds counted.

These new numbers aren’t that surprising, considering this was the first year that the GBBC opened up the count to people worldwide. It is still promising that the popularity of such citizen-science programs like the GBBC and the Christmas Bird Count.

Thousands of people reported from the suburbs of Los Angeles to patios in New Jersey. The great part about the count is that you could do it from any type of landscape and the joint partnership with eBird allows various methods of entry.

Because this was the first year the GBBC opened to people around the world, it’ll take two or three more years before scientists can draw more serious conclusions about bird populations.

Here’s some of the findings written in NBC News:

Among the highlights from this year’s count was the sighting of the colorful crested Northern Lapwing in several sites along the eastern seaboard. The bird is native to Europe and was likely blown across the Atlantic Ocean in the same weather patterns that generated superstorm Sandy.

More preliminary findings can be found at the GBBC site.

Timothy Martinez Jr. is a writer and freelance journalist. His work has been published in The Times-Picayune in New Orleans, Remapping Debate in New York City and other publications. He’s been a bird lover since he was young and currently lives in New Orleans, L.A.