The Cache Creek Conservancy will participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count this year. The public is invited to meet at the Cache Creek Nature Preserve, 34199 County Road 20 in Woodland, at 8 a.m. Saturday to help with the count.
“Everyone is welcome, from beginners to experts,” a news release said. “It is fun, free and easy; it also helps the birds.”
The knowledgeable leaders will help with identification and the tally sheet and will submit the group’s checklist to the Great Backyard Bird Count website. Last month, 52 species of birds were identified in one morning of birding.
The preserve will open at 7:45 a.m., with the bird count starting at 8 a.m. The planned program will end about 11 a.m., but participants are welcome to stay and enjoy the area. Pre-registration is requested, at 530-661-1070 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Please dress warmly and bring your own water and binoculars and a field guide if you have them,” the news release said. “Binoculars and field guides also will be available.”
Nationally, the 2014 Great Backyard Bird Count will take place Feb. 14-17. The annual four-day event engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where birds are. Participants tally the number of individuals of each species they see during their count period.
Why are bird counts important? Scientists and bird enthusiasts can learn a lot by knowing where birds are during the year. Bird populations are dynamic, and information from various bird counts can be used to see what may be happening to bird populations.
Data later may be used to answer many questions, such as: What effect does weather have on bird populations? Why are some birds present in large numbers one year and not in another? How are bird diseases, such as West Nile virus, affecting birds in different regions? What kinds of differences in bird diversity are apparent in cities versus suburban, rural and natural areas?
Saturday also is a general open day for the public at the Cache Creek Nature Preserve. The grounds will be open until 2 p.m. for those who would like to enjoy the beautiful setting along Cache Creek, walk the trails and see wildlife. No dogs are permitted on the grounds, which are about five miles west of Woodland.
For more information, visit www.cachecreekconservancy.org.