Great Backyard Bird Count helps scientists study migration

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – There’s a worldwide bird watching event underway this weekend and Albuquerque is taking part.

All eyes were on the trees at the ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden Saturday morning, people peered through binoculars looking for birds.

"As a beginning birder, I wanted to learn more about birds in the area. I’m new to the area. I just moved here about six months ago," said Molly Arevalo, birdwatcher.

Arevalo moved to New Mexico from Los Angeles and was one of about 35 participants. This is her first time bird watching.

"There’s an incredible array of birdlife in this area along the bosque, we’ve even gotten to see a porcupine," said Arevalo.

It’s part of the Great Backyard Bird Count, a four day worldwide event where community scientists observe birds and report their findings to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

"This data is used by scientists all over the world to see the population trends of birds everywhere. Are they migrating sooner? Are they hanging out longer in their winter ranges? All that data is useful," said Deborah Cook, education coordinator.

Cook said it’s the 25th year the BioPark has held the event at the Botanic Garden and how it’s a great way to get outdoors and learn about nature.

"Number one, the Botanic Garden is beautiful. And some people don’t have backyards, so this is a great place to count birds and if you’re new to birding, with all the experts that are here, it’s a great way to get started.”