Looking for an excuse to get outside this weekend? Consider participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count! Go solo, take the family, maybe a friend or two, or maybe even join your local Audubon Society chapter or birding club and head outside to do some bird watching!
Aside from being a fun activity (and a great opportunity to learn more about your local birds), the data you collect are compiled along with data from thousands of others all across the country and made publicly available. As of late Friday night, here's how many checklists have been submitted so far:
To give you an idea of what can be done with the data, here's an animated map of past observations of Common Redpolls in North America. This small northern finches tend to come down south for the winter -- but only every other year or so. This pattern can be seen in the data, as illustrated in this animated map...
More maps and data can be found on the Results section of the Great Backyard Bird Count website.