Great Backyard Bird Count begins Friday

For parents who are looking for a low-cost activity in which they can involve their entire family, now’s the time. Friday through Feb. 15 is the Great Backyard Bird Count, sponsored by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society.

“Count for Fun, Count for the Future!” is the theme of this annual event, which aims to get adults and children involved in citizen science.

During the 2009 bird count, participants submitted more than 94,000 checklists, which included 620 different species and a tally numbering more than 11 million individual birds.

There are a few guidelines for counting backyard birds. Set aside at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the count. Keep a separate list of birds for each day. For each species of bird you see, count the most you see at any one time. Make sure that the largest number of birds is not recorded by more than one person.

It’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with the bird species you might see. A good place to start is the Nevada Department of Wildlife Web site, www.ndow.org.

When you are finished counting for the four days, submit your numbers online at www.birdcount.org by completing an official data form.


Youth waterfowl hunt slated for southern counties

Young waterfowl hunters will have flyways in Lincoln and Clark counties all to themselves during a special two-day youth waterfowl season scheduled for Saturday and Feb. 14. The season is open to hunters 15 years of age and younger, but each youth must be accompanied by an adult who is at least 18 years old. Adults are not allowed to hunt during this season, however.

Youth hunters between the ages of 12 and 15 years of age will need a current hunting license with a Nevada state duck stamp, but will not need a federal migratory game bird hunting stamp. That stamp is required for persons ages 16 and older who hunt migratory waterfowl.

Reservations will be needed to hunt on the Overton Wildlife Management Area. A drawing for reservations will be at 8 a.m. Monday at the Nevada Department of Wildlife offices at 4747 Vegas Drive in Las Vegas and 744 S. Racetrack Road in Henderson. The hunter, or their representative, must appear in person to make the reservation.


2011 fishing and hunting licenses now available

Hunting and fishing licenses for the 2009-10 license year expire Feb. 28, but outdoor enthusiasts don’t have to wait until March to buy their new 2010-11 licenses. They are already available at Nevada Department of Wildlife offices, sporting goods stores and other vendors statewide. They can also be purchased online at www.ndow.org.

Keep in mind, however, that these new licenses are not valid until March 1. Fishing regulations for the new license year are also available.

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