Friday, February 13, 2009

Bird Count AND Bird Sale

This weekend, February 13-16, is the 12th Annual Great Backyard Bird Count, hosted by the National Audubon Society and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. What does that mean? It means you go outside and count the birds you see. What else does it mean? It means that on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday (2/14-16) you can get 10% off any book in the store with the word bird in the title.* And you can buy as many books as you want! This includes my personal favorite gift book of the year: Birdscapes: A Pop-Up Celebration of Bird Songs in Stereo (with recordings from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology). Or, you could get the novel The Spectator Bird, by Wallace Stegner (but not Gossip of the Starlings, by Nina de Gramont). And you can buy the books in our window -- if the window is empty by Monday night that's ok. In fact, that's fabulous!

If you want to know more about the Great Backyard Bird Count, go to: Here you'll find all kinds of information, including answers to frequently asked questions such as how is the information used and why is the count in February. Or where to count birds (despite the name, you're not restricted to your backyard), for how long (at least 15 minutes), can you count birds you detect only by sound (yes, if you're that good), and can you include birds that fly overhead (yes, but only if you can make a positive identification).

The site tells you about local related events. You can also download a bird checklist specific to your region to help guide your count. (Here's some of the birds on the list for our area; the Gadwall, the Ruffed Grouse, Clark's Grebe, the Sharp-Shinned Hawk, the Black Phoebe, Wilson's Snipe, the Yellow-Shafted Northern Flicker, the Pygmy Nuthatch, the Pine Siskin, and the Yellow-Rumped Warbler. Best of all, the site updates regularly with the current counts submitted thus far. As of 3:25 pm PST today, there had been 3733 checklists submitted, oberserving 401 different species and a total of 379,067 individual birds counted. Wow. Get out there and start counting! And don't forget to come take advantage of our bird sale.

*The fine print (because there's always fine print): bird sale applies only to books in the store -- no special orders; no additional discounts can be applied and no pink card punch if you opt for the discount.

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