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Wyoming's winter birds

Wyoming's winter birds

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It’s like a science project for the country.

Not only do you help collect critical data during the Great Backyard Bird Count, but you also get to play outside, said Jacelyn Downey, a community naturalist for Audubon Wyoming.

“It’s very easy. You don’t have to be in a special location, you can look out your backyard or go somewhere nice. It’s very adaptable to what you’re doing that day,” she said.

The Great Backyard Bird Count, sponsored by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the Audubon Society, starts Friday and runs through Monday. Amateur ornithologists anywhere can count and record birds they see.

Birds are too numerous and spread out for scientists to track on their own. This means parents, kids, teachers or birders can be citizen-scientists for a weekend.

The data gives scientists an idea of where and how many birds are in each location. This then helps scientists monitor migration patterns and population changes.

Here are eight Wyoming birds you might find on your count. The first four — black-capped chickadees, goldfinches, pine siskins and black-eyed juncos — are common to the state any time of the year and you may see them at your feeders, Downey said.

The last four — Bohemian waxwings, Lapland longspurs, snow buntings and rough-legged hawks — are winter birds, breeding farther north and coming down into Wyoming in the winter for food.

Reach Open Spaces reporter Christine Peterson at (307) 460-9598 or


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