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Be a Part of Annual National Bird Count at Free Great Backyard Bird Count Event on Feb. 14 at Ernie Miller Nature Center
POSTED: 01/21/2009
This will be the second time the local nature center is participating in the nationwide birding event, which is now in its 12th year.

The event is called the Great Backyard Bird Count and will take place from 9 a.m. through 4 p.m. in the comfort of the Wildlife Viewing Room at the nature center located at 909 N. Kansas 7 Highway, Olathe. Participants can learn about birds which spend their winters in northeast Kansas from experienced birders with the Burroughs Audubon Society of Greater Kansas City. Likely candidates for viewing include northern cardinals, black-capped chickadees, American goldfinches, red-tailed hawks, and more. No reservations or registration is required for this event.

"The Great Backyard Bird Count benefits both birds and people" Audubon Education Vice President Judy Braus said in a national release. "It's a great example of citizen science: anyone who can identify even a few species can contribute to the body of knowledge that is used to inform conservation efforts to protect birds and biodiversity. Families, teachers, children, and all those who take part in GBBC get a chance to improve their observation skills, enjoy nature, and have a great time counting for fun, counting for the future."

Count results will contribute information which is valuable for science and conservation and can spotlight changes in bird populations and distribution from year to year. In 2007, a record 80,000 bird checklists were submitted reporting 11 million birds and 613 species. More information on the national count can be found at

For more information, contact Park Naturalist Elaine Giessel at (913) 764-8580 ext. 27. Perform a catalog search for the keyword "birds" to find this program in the JCPRD's Activities Catalog and online listings.

The nature center also continues to seek donations of supplies for both the animals kept at the center and the wild animals which come to the feeders. Among the items being sought are: black oil sunflower seed; white millet, thistle, or safflower seed (no seed mixes, please); raw unsalted peanuts shelled or unshelled, suet cakes; and dried seed corn on the cob.

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