Becca Rodomsky-Bish, Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Image by Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Join Becca Rodomsky-Bish in a conversation about the Great Backyard Bird Count.

Episode 106: Great Backyard Bird Count

If you like birds, you will love this episode! Birds spark a deep wonder and help us to understand the living world. When birds disappear, they’re signaling that we’ve stressed our landscapes and oceans. When we make changes and they rebound, it signals hope that we can find ways to flourish and protect the natural world.

Becca Rodomsky-Bish, Project Leader from Cornell University's Lab of Ornithology, joins us in a wonderful conversation about our feathered friends, the Lab, and the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC). Becca's focus in environmental education includes native habitats, sustainability, and conservation.  Beyond the Lab, she is an avid gardener creating beautiful gardens to feed her family as well as the wildlife in her area. 

The “GBBC” is a February event that has united birdwatchers around the world for over 25 years. For one weekend each year, citizen scientists submit their bird observations from their home or in their community. The GBBC engages backyard bird watchers and helps guide people in creating bird-friendly homes and yards. This is something that everyone can engage in as a citizen scientist.

And it’s just one project supported by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology whose mission is to interpret and conserve the Earth’s biological diversity through research, education, and citizen science focused on birds and nature. The Lab brings together the agility and impact of an on-the-ground nonprofit organization with world-class science and teaching as part of Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Together, they transform data into knowledge by pioneering new techniques that combine citizen science, machine learning, and data visualizations. Their studies explore the earth’s biodiversity, the processes that have generated it, and ways to conserve this abundance of life. Key partners in much of this research are the many thousands of people who volunteer for citizen-science projects.

The Lab created Merlin, a very popular application that helps identify birds by answering some simple questions, or via their photos, songs and calls. The Lab also developed and manages eBird, a database that engages a global audience in sharing observations to empower research and conservation of birds and ecosystems. Through the exploration, analysis, and visualization of massive data sets, insights are revealed on the distribution, movements, status, and trends of birds through time and across hemispheres.

Learn how you can participate in this process with the Great Backyard Bird Count.

Hosts: Tim Kennelty and Jean Thomas

Guest: Becca Rodomsky-Bish

Photo by: Cornell University Lab of Ornithology

Production Support: Linda Aydlett, Deven Connolly, Teresa Golden, Xandra Powers, Annie Scibienski



Xandra Powers
Community Horticulture Coordinator
518-828-3346 x106

Last updated February 1, 2024