And before you go…

Redtailed hawk Cornell

Red-tailed hawk photographed during the 2015 Great Backyard Bird Count. Courtesy Peter Ferguson/Cornell University

Presidents’ Day weekend is a time for getting away, although western Colorado right now (49 degrees and sunny) is a great place to get to. If you’re looking for something special to do outdoors (and less-expensive than downhill skiing), this weekend is the Great Backyard Bird Count, the annual avian census that combines the bird sightings from amateurs and experts alike on an online database.

Last year more than 140,000 people from more than 100 countries classified nearly half of the world’s bird types during the four-day event. Included in the 5,090 different species identified in 2015 were two new bird species, the millpo tapaculo (normally found in South and Central America from Tierra del Fuego to Costa Rica), and Santa Marta screech-owl, which had never before been described in a scientific journal.

Also last year, bird watchers tracked the presence of a Great Kiskadee in South Dakota, even though the species is non-migratory and considered to be native to south Texas.

Read more here.


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