OKC ZOO HOSTS ANNUAL GREAT BACKYARD BIRD COUNT CITIZEN SCIENTIST EVENT
February 13, 2019
The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden is calling all eagle-eyed citizens to help identify bird species during its Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) event Saturday, February 16 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Great Backyard Bird Count is a global citizen science project that invites people to count native birds and help create a real-time look at wild populations. Participation in this fun event is easy for families and individuals of all ages. OKC Zoo guests can assist with counting and identifying the native birds that make their home around the Zoo. This event will be assisted by wildlife biologists from the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (ODWC), one of the Zoo’s partners in native species conservation.
“Citizen scientists are critical to events like The Great Backyard Bird Count and present a great opportunity to introduce kids to field research," said Dr. Rebecca Snyder, OKC Zoo curator of conservation and science. "The information provided by the GBBC helps researchers better understand bird population changes, shifting migration patterns and what resulting steps need to be taken to protect declining bird populations."
Zoo guests wishing to participate should gather at the entry plaza at 10 a.m. to learn more about the day’s activities. Eddie Witte, curator of birds, and Mark Howery, ODWC natural resource biologist, will conduct a bird-tastic tour of the Zoo at 11 a.m. Bird photographers can also enter images they capture during the event in the 2019 GBBC photo contest. Kids will enjoy an on-grounds bird scavenger safari, testing bird-spotting skills! After the educational scavenger hunt is complete, kids can show their completed card to Guest Services in the plaza and receive a prize. Zoo education team members will host an introduction to bird-spotting activity outside the Dan Moran Aviary. All activities are free with Zoo admission.
The 22nd annual Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) will take place February 15 to 18—and not just in Zoos, but also in backyards, parks, on hiking trails, school grounds, balconies and beaches. This global event provides an opportunity for bird enthusiasts to contribute important bird population data that help scientists see changes over the past 22 years. To participate, bird watchers simply 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.
To learn more about what scientists discovered over the past 22 years and 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.
Flock to the Oklahoma City Zoo and learn to care for, connect with and conserve wildlife! Located at the crossroads of I-44 and I-35, the Zoo is a proud member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the American Alliance of Museums, Oklahoma City’s Adventure District and an Adventure Road partner. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Regular admission is $11 for adults and $8 for children ages 3-11 and seniors ages 65 and over. Children two and under are admitted free. Stay up-to-date with the Zoo on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and by visiting Our Stories. Zoo fans can support the OKC Zoo by becoming Oklahoma Zoological Society members at ZOOfriends.org or in-person at the Zoo! To learn more about these and other happenings, call (405) 424-3344 or visit okczoo.org.
For media related to this press release, click here.