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Great Backyard Bird Count runs Friday through Monday

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ITHACA — The 17th annual Great Backyard Bird Count kicks off this Friday and runs through Monday.

Anyone anywhere in the world can count birds for at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the count and enter his sightings at 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.

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 six continents, including 110 countries and independent territories. About 34 million birds and 4,258 species were recorded — more than one-third of the world’s total bird species — documented in just four days.

The Great Backyard Bird Count is free and easy. To learn more about how to join the count, visit www.birdcount.org and view the winning photos from the 2013 photo contest.

The GBBC 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 sponsor Wild Birds Unlimited.

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