2019 Great Backyard Bird Count Should Be “Finchy” and Fun

February 6, 2019

Kids can count the birds in the backyard! The Great Backyard Bird Count is to be held from February 15-18, 2019. Anyone anywhere in the world can count birds for at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the count and enter their sightings at www.BirdCount.org. This would be a great classroom or family activity! Here’s How to Participate.

Winter finch “irruption” will be a highlight for many

For release: January 24, 2019

Evening Grosbeak by GBBC participant Ted Schroeder, Oregon.


New York, NY, Ithaca, NY, and Port Rowan, ON —The 22nd Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) will take place from Friday, February 15 through Monday, February 18. Volunteers from around the world are invited to count the birds they see for at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the count, then enter their checklists at birdcount.org. Anyone with internet access can participate, no matter what their skill level—it’s a great family activity, too.

In the United States and Canada, 2019 bird lists are more likely to include sightings of winter finches and grosbeaks that are moving farther south than usual in what’s called an “irruption.” This type of movement is often sparked by poor cone, seed, and berry crops in parts of Canada.

“This year is a very exciting one for backyard birders in the East, headlined by the largest Evening Grosbeak movement in at least two decades,” says the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Marshall Iliff, a leader of the eBird program. “From Atlantic Canada to North Carolina, these colorful feeder visitors have been making a splash.”

Although seed crops were better in western Canada, eBird maps still show significant number of Evening Grosbeaks are now being reported in the West all the way down to the border with Mexico. eBird collects bird observations globally every day of the year and is the online platform used by the GBBC.

Pine Grosbeak male by Candace Trost, GBBC participant, Manitoba, Canada.


This also an above-average year for Red Crossbills, Common Redpolls, Pine Grosbeaks, Common and Hoary Redpolls, and Red-breasted Nuthatches.”The Great Backyard Bird Count is a great way for all bird watchers to contribute to a global database of bird populations,” says Dr. Gary Langham, vice president and chief scientist for the National Audubon Society. “Participants in the Great Backyard Bird Count help scientists understand how things like climate change are impacting bird populations so we can better inform our conservation efforts.”

During the 2018 count, bird watchers from more than 100 countries submitted more than 180,000 bird checklists reporting a record 6,456 species–more than half the known bird species in the world.

Common Redpoll by GBBC participant Kathleen Payne, Minnesota.


“With the finch irruption this year, we’re hoping for record bird numbers and another record-breaking year for Canadian participation,” says Jon McCracken, Bird Studies Canada’s National Program Director. “In search of a bit of relief from our cold winters, many Canadians become ‘snow birds’ at this time of year, and spend a bit of time birding somewhere warm. While I always strongly encourage counts in our own snowy Canadian backyards, don’t forget that you can participate anywhere in the world. Last year, I did my count in Florida’s Corkscrew Swamp, and had a fantastic day.”To learn more about how to take part in the Great Backyard Bird Count, visit birdcount.org. The Great Backyard Bird Count is a joint project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society with partner Bird Studies Canada and is made possible in part by founding sponsor Wild Birds Unlimited.

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The Lantern Fest – Reno and Other Places

August 31, 2015

LanternFestThis Lantern Fest sounds interesting to explore more. I learned that one will be held just outside Reno at the Fernley 95A Speedway
(1965 Highway 95A) on Saturday, October 17th. There are also others planned elsewhere in the US.


More information about the group is here:

ABOUT THE LANTERNFEST

At The Lantern Fest, thousands of revelers join together armed with lanterns for one unforgettable spectacle. There will be music, dancing, s’mores and, when the time is just right, we will light the sky with our highest hopes, deepest regrets, and fondest dreams.

These lanterns are 100% biodegradable. Not to mention after each release we have professional “Lantern Chasers” that will make those armored truck driving meteorologists look like your local news’ weatherman. These lantern experts collect 90% of the lanterns after the event.

Historically lanterns were used to symbolize good fortune, request favorable weather, or to celebrate the life of a loved one, just to name a few. But here in 2015, we don’t care if you are turning over a new leaf or just snapping some sweet shots for Instagram.

Families and friends can dance to the music, roast marshmallows, munch on snacks provided by local vendors, and of course, watch the lanterns float away in an unforgettable release.

Each registrant will receive their own lantern as well as some other goodies.

Safety and Conservation are very important!

See video: here

More questions are answered here.

The Lantern Fest organizers partner with a charity for every event. For our Reno event, we are excited to be partnering with The Down Syndrome Network of Northern Nevada (DSNNN).

Check out my blogs about things to do with kids on https://mygrandmasue.wordpress.com by the author of the award-winning children’s book Grandpa, Do It! I Do It, Too!
🙂


Fascinating Letter to Grandson

January 4, 2015

Knight A Kiplinger normally writes for investors and executives. In his December 19, 2014 letter, he actually wrote a letter to his first grandson who was born in 2014 in the same fashion as his grandfather did for him and three other grandsons back in 1963. He also gave permission to share his special letter which is what I am now doing with you.

You can read it here.

It is available to download as PDF from kiplinger.com/go/grand if you would like to do that.

Check out other ideas and activities to do with kids on https://mygrandmasue.wordpress.com by the author of the award-winning children’s book Grandpa, Do It! I Do It, Too!
🙂


Kids can do the Great Backyard Bird Count for 2014

January 26, 2014

Kids can count the birds in the backyard! The Great Backyard Bird Count is to be held February 14–17, 2014. Anyone anywhere in the world can count birds for at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the count and enter their sightings at www.BirdCount.org. This would be a great classroom or family activity! Here is an instructional video all about what you would need to do from the website of the GBBC (Great Backyard Bird Count). Here’s How to Participate. Here’s GBBC for Kids!

News Release:
January 16, 2014
New York, New York
From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, bird watchers from more than 100 countries are expected to participate in the 17th annual Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC), February 14–17, 2014. Anyone anywhere in the world can count birds for at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the count and enter their sightings at http://www.BirdCount.org. The information gathered by tens of thousands of volunteers helps track the health of bird populations at a scale that would not otherwise be possible. The GBBC is a joint project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society with partner Bird Studies Canada.

“People who care about birds can change the world,” said Audubon chief scientist Gary Langham. “Technology has made it possible for people everywhere to unite around a shared love of birds and a commitment to protecting them.”

In North America, GBBC participants will add their data to help define the magnitude of a dramatic irruption of magnificent Snowy Owls. Bird watchers will also be on the lookout for the invasive Eurasian Collared-Dove to see if it has expanded its range again. GBBC observations may help show whether or not numbers of American Crows will continue to rebound after being hit hard by the West Nile virus and whether more insect-eating species are showing up in new areas, possibly because of changing climate.

Last year’s Great Backyard Bird Count shattered records after going global for the first time, thanks to integration with the eBird online checklist program launched in 2002 by the Cornell Lab and Audubon. Participants reported their bird sightings from all 7 continents, including 111 countries and independent territories. More than 34.5 million birds and 3,610 species were recorded—nearly one-third of the world’s total bird species documented in just four days.

“This is a milestone for citizen science in so many respects—number of species, diversity of countries involved, total participants, and number of individual birds recorded. We hope this is just the start of something far larger, engaging the whole world in creating a detailed annual snapshot of how all our planet’s birds are faring as the years go by,” said Cornell Lab director Dr. John Fitzpatrick.

“Canadian participation in the Great Backyard Bird Count has increased tremendously in recent years, and it’s wonderful to see this program growing globally,” said Bird Studies Canada President Dr. George Finney. “The count is introducing unprecedented numbers of people to the exciting field of bird watching.”

The Great Backyard Bird Count is a great way for people of all ages and backgrounds to connect with nature and make a difference for birds. It’s free and easy. To learn more about how to join the count visit http://www.birdcount.org and view the winning photos from the 2013 GBBC photo contest.

The Great Backyard Bird Count is made possible in part by sponsor Wild Birds Unlimited.

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Grandpa Ron and I have a Red-tailed Hawk, Harris Hawk and Northern Harrier that like to visit for dinner. They perch on the wall outside a window. I captured 2 pictures of the Harris Hawk before he had enough of me and flew off.


… and we always have quail, unless they are hiding…


Check out other ideas and activities to do with kids on https://mygrandmasue.wordpress.com by the author of the award-winning children’s book Grandpa, Do It! I Do It, Too!
🙂


Wonder of Learning: Portland Children’s Museum and Red Tricycle Portland

February 4, 2012

Tomorrow, Feb 5, 2012 at 10 AM, the Portland Children’s Museum‘s newest traveling exhibit, The Wonder of Learning: The Hundred Languages of Children Exhibit from Reggio Emilia, Italy, will be open to the public. Those of you who know me well also know that I’m big on education and languages. This exhibit captured my interest immediately! Do click on the link to explore the thought behind the new, more museum-traditional (hands-off) type of exhibit, along with concepts, questions and answers.

“Exploring education through multi-media galleries that speak to how young children imagine, invent and create, this exhibit expands the potential to support creative thinking and collaboration in our schools and communities.”

Viewing The Wonder of Learning exhibit is included in your Museum admission price as well as all membership levels. Guests who ONLY wish to view The Wonder of Learning exhibit may do so free of charge by checking in with Guest Services. Guests who wish to visit The Wonder of Learning exhibit AND the rest of the Museum must purchase admission.

The Portland Children’s Museum newsletter also mentioned that they have partnered with Red Tricycle Portland to feature local giveaways, news, and family fun! Red Tricycle Portland is a great resource for those of you in the Portland, Oregon, area for fun activities to do with your children or grandchildren! Red Tricycle provides Portland parents with five fresh picks a week for fun things to see, eat, and do with your kids in your neighborhood. On the website you can sign up for a free email newsletter.

Red Tricycle also has pages for Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego.

Check out my other blogs about things to do with kids on https://mygrandmasue.wordpress.com by the author of the award-winning children’s book Grandpa, Do It! I Do It, Too!
🙂


Costumes, Dressing Up and Role Playing

October 30, 2011

One more time the grandparents.com website has an interesting article about costumes called Why Costumes Are Good for Kids during this Halloween season and why role-playing is good…..

Check out other ideas and activities to do with kids on https://mygrandmasue.wordpress.com by the author of the award-winning children’s book Grandpa, Do It! I Do It, Too!
🙂


Aquarium of the Pacific Blue Whale Watch Tour

October 22, 2011

Grandpa Ron and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary all weekend long by revisiting places we went just before our wedding. On Sunday, 10/09/11, we went through the Aquarium of the Pacific. My favorite exhibit is the one containing the Leafy Seadragons. Here are a few photos:

After we finished touring the aquarium we boarded one of their Blue Whale Watching Tours. It was great! We saw many whales – mainly blues but a few others. The trip was great! The aquarium docent was excellent and I think everyone had a great time trying to spot whales first! Here are a few of our photos!

Check out other ideas and activities to do with kids on https://mygrandmasue.wordpress.com by the author of the award-winning children’s book Grandpa, Do It! I Do It, Too!
🙂


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