Amateur and expert bird watchers of all ages can help track birds as part of the annual nationwide Great Backyard Bird Count, February 14 -17.

To find bird count events across the country, go to Great Backyard Bird Count for a location near you. Volunteers from around the world count the birds they see for at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the count, and then enter their checklists at birdcount.org.

In Kansas City, the Trailside Center, 9901 Holmes Road will host one-mile hikes along Indian Creek’s paved trails beginning at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, February 15; at 3 p.m. on Sunday, February 16; and at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, February 17. Participants will tally the number of individual birds of each species they see during their count period. Participants can also photograph birds and enter them in the Great Backyard Bird Count contest by March 1.

For more information, contact Trailside Center at 816-942-3581 or info@trailsidecenter.org

In a study published by the journal Science last fall, scientists revealed a decline of more than one in four birds in the United States and Canada since 1970 – three billion birds gone. In addition to these steep declines, Audubon scientists projects in Survival By Degrees that nearly two-thirds of North America’s bird species could disappear due to climate change. Birds from around the world are facing similar challenges and declines. Counting birds for science is one simple action that individuals can take to protect birds and the places where they live.

Photo: Evening Grosbeak by Ted Schroeder