Kamloops bird watchers have another reason to gaze skyward this month during the Great Backyard Bird Count.
The count happens every year from Feb. 15 to 18 in partnership with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society in the U.S. and Bird Studies Canada.
And this year, locals can join people around the world as the count goes global for the first time. Anyone visiting the Great Backyard Bird Count website will be able to see bird observations pouring in from around the world and contribute their own tallies.
The count is open to anyone of any skill level and welcomes observations from any location, including national parks, wetlands and urban landscapes.
Some of the best birding areas in Kamloops include Tranquille Marsh past the Kamloops Golf and Country Club, T'Kumlups Marsh across the Yellowhead Highway from the Secwepemc Museum and Lac Du Bois Provincial Park’s Isobel Lake Trail area and McQueen Lake Trail area.
Participants simply watch birds at any location for at least 15 minutes, tally the numbers of each species they see and report their tallies online at www.BirdCount.ca.
Also a first this year, participants will be able to upload their counts from the field using the eBird BirdLog app for Apple or Android smartphones.
The four-day count typically receives sightings from tens of thousands of people reporting more than 600 bird species in the United States and Canada alone.