Connecticut Audbon Society

 

What to expect during the 2021 Earth Day Backyard Bioblitz? Hundreds of species of plants and animals

Connecticut locations with bioblitz observations in 2020.

April 16, 2021 — If you’re thinking about participating in the 2021 Earth Day Backyard Bioblitz, take a look at what happened last year:

Well over 200 people from throughout Connecticut submitted 2,619 observations of 663 species — 444 plants, 86 birds, 38 insects, and 31 fungi.

Goldfinches, cardinals, woodpeckers. Garlic mustard and red trillium. Domestic dog! Even Eastern subterranean termites.

A Bioblitz is a fancy name for an organized effort to find as many different kinds of living things as possible.

It takes place on one day — Earth Day, April 22, 2021. You can participate for any amount of time.

And it’s a great activity to do with your kids.

What you will need

  1. An iNaturalist account. Sign up at www.inaturalist.org or download the app from the App Store or Google Play. Once you register below you will be sent the link to our BioBlitz project. You can also search for it on the App using “CT Audubon Earth Day Backyard BioBlitz” and look for the project with our logo.
  2. A smartphone. You’re going to need it to take and upload your photos for your observations! If you don’t have a smartphone you can use a camera and upload your photos online – click here to learn more about that.
  3. Safety gear. You’re not only going to need protection from sunburns and ticks, but also any necessary protective gear you want to prevent coronavirus. Get out there but please be safe and maintain appropriate social distance.

You don’t need to be able to identify what you find. Just post your observation with a clear photo and good description. One of our staff experts will identify it for you or one of the many experts available through iNaturalist will.

If you need more help here is a step-by-step guide from iNaturalist on how to get started.

Last year, Patricia Walker, who lives in Shelton and is a professor at Sacred Heart University, said the bioblitz made her week.

“I had 22 observations and 16 species,” she said. “My highlight was a wild turkey who came at the end of the day as I took one final look out the window. I got help from fellow participants on some of the identifications. This was a bright spot in my week. I’m still looking at the pictures.”

The bioblitz wasn’t just good, it was good for you too. Here’s what Christine Young of Easton told us:

“On Wednesday I was sick as a dog on the couch, and with a 4 year old, 2 year old, and 5 month old, it is so hard to keep everyone entertained. Even though it was a chilly, damp and windy day, Daddy took the 4- and 2-year-olds out to do the BioBlitz.

“I got a solid two hours of semi-rest (as much as possible with a needy infant) while they had a blast identifying away. Looking forward to doing it again next year!”

Top observations

  • 444 plants
  • 86 birds
  • 38 insects
  • 31 fungi

Birds seen most often

  • American Goldfinch
  • Northern Cardinal
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • American Robin
  • Tufted Titmouse

Five other birds

  • Yellow-rumped Warbler
  • Hermit Thrush
  • Yellow-crowned Night Heron
  • Northern Rough-winged Swallow
  • Louisiana Waterthrush

Unusual reports

  • Domestic dog (9)
  • Eastern subterranean termites (not near the house, we hope — you’ll have the subterranean homesick blues) (2)
  • People with great eyesight or a microscope observed the micro-organisms nematodes and ostracods.

Our key observation here at Connecticut Audubon
It was a great day, you made it great, and we’re definitely planning to do it again. Thank you all!

 

 

 

 

 

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