Experts are coming to Toms River this week to help locals spot and count birds as part of an international effort to document the animals.
From Friday, Feb. 15 through Sunday, Feb. 17, the Great Backyard Bird Count initiative will come to the Barnegat Bay Partnership office in Toms River.
"People all around the globe will be participating, counting the birds that they see in their backyards and natural areas," said Joanna Marino, an Americorps Watershed Ambassador working the event locally.
Several expert birders are coming to the Partnership's 117 Haines Rd. office where tours will be given on the land.
"These woods are 40 acres of property that surround Long Swamp Creek as it empties into the Toms River," Marino said.
Data from the GBBC, along with other observation information is used to get the "big picture" of bird populations around the world, according to those who administer the project.
"We're eager to see how many of the world's 10,240 bird species will be reported during the count this year," reads a statement by John Fitzpatrick, director at Cornell Lab, which is one of the event sponsors. "We're looking forward to this historic snapshot of birds that that will be reported from around the world. We need as many people as possible to help build the wealth of data that scientists need to track the health of bird populations through time."
The free event is open to the public. Those who want to attend are asked to contact Marino through email or by calling 732-914-8116 to arrange a time.
More information on the bird count project is available online.