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Help Find and I.D. Bird Species for Global Census During Guided Walks, Feb. 14-17 at The Maritime Aquarium

Flock to The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk Feb. 14-17 and join in guided walks seeking out land and sea birds as part of an important global bird census.

Maritime Aquarium educators will lead Aquarium guests on three daily walks along the Norwalk River as part of the Great Backyard Bird Count, a worldwide volunteer effort organized by the National Audubon Society and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Participating “citizen scientists” will seek out, identify and quantify songbirds, waterfowl and other feathered friends. Results will be entered into a global database that helps researchers understand trends in bird populations.

The 45-minute walks will start each of the four days at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 & 2:30 p.m. A limited number of binoculars and ID guides will be provided.

The walks are free with Aquarium admission. All participants must be at least 42 inches tall, and those under age 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Meet in Newman’s Own Hall, where guests also can make ice cream cone bird feeders and learn more about birds and bird conservation.

Now in its 23rd year, the Great Backyard Bird Count engages volunteers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of bird populations. Participants are asked to identify and count birds for at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the four-day event and to report their sightings at www.birdcount.org. The results help researchers understand how birds are doing and how to protect them. Last year, more than 160,000 participants submitted observations, creating the largest instantaneous snapshot of global bird populations ever recorded.

Additionally, waterfowl seen during The Maritime Aquarium’s “Seal-Spotting & Birding Cruises” onto Long Island Sound Feb. 15 and 16 will be recorded and added to the Great Backyard Bird Count data as well. Departure times are 9:30 a.m. on Feb. 15 and 10:30 a.m. on Feb. 16. Tickets for the 2.5-hour cruises are $31.50 ($26.50 for Aquarium members).

Space in The Maritime Aquarium’s guided bird walks Feb. 14-17 – and also aboard the research vessel for the cruises – is limited, so advance registrations are strongly suggested. Sign up at www.maritimeaquarium.org.

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