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Mena, Arkansas, News covering Polk County and the surrounding area

Great American Bird Count is Feb. 16-19

Cossatot River State Park to host special event

By Patrick Massey

WICKES – Arkansas State Parks will be hosting a number of events in recognition of the 2024 Great American Bird Count, but everyone is invited to participate on their own in this annual community science project.

The four-day Great American Bird Count is scheduled for Feb. 16-19. Just go to for instructions on identifying and recording what kind of birds you see. Then, one or more times between Feb. 16 and 19, spend at least 15 minutes birdwatching and enter what you find. Data gathered during the Great Backyard Bird Count helps scientists study migration patterns, see year-to-year changes, and discover long-term trends.

The Great Backyard Bird Count is hosted by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society.

Each year in February, millions of people count the species of birds that they see and hear in their own backyards over the course of those four days. These observations help scientists better understand bird populations around the world before one of their annual migrations.

To participate, you simply log the birds you count for 15 minutes on at least one out of four days of the event.

It’s suggested to download the Merlin Bird ID app to help identify the birds in the area, and participants can use the eBird Mobile app to enter bird sightings.

In recognition of the 2024 Great Backyard Bird count, Cossatot River State Park is hosting an all-day event on Friday, Feb. 16. Stop by the visitor information center between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. that day for information, materials and other special events to participate in the worldwide bird count.

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