By Margaret Magnus
Gesturing toward the outdoors at Meher Mount, Meher Baba said,
The Board of Directors and Manager/Caretakers have taken this statement to heart for Meher Mount. In addition to preserving Meher Mount for the Avatar, preserving the natural environment for all of God’s creations is a long-term goal.
In that spirit, Meher Mount acknowledges National Bird-Feeding Month and the Great Backyard Bird Count - both in February.
National Bird-Feeding Month
The month-long recognition started on February 23, 1994, when Congressman John Porter (R-IL) read a resolution into the Congressional Record proclaiming February as National-Bird Feeding Month.
Said Porter, “I would like to recognize February, one of the most difficult months in the United States for wild birds, as National Bird-Feeding Month. During this month, individuals are encouraged to provide food, water, and shelter to help wild birds survive. This assistance benefits the environment by supplementing wild bird’s natural diet of weed seeds and insects.”
The Great Backyard Bird Count
Coinciding with National Bird-Feeding Month is the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) between Friday, February 12, and Monday, February 15, 2016.
Launched in 1998 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, the Great Backyard Bird Count was the first online citizen-science project to collect data on wild birds and to display results in near real-time.
Participants are asked to count birds for as little as 15 minutes (or as long as they wish) on one or more days of the four-day event and report their sightings online.
Anyone can take part in the Great Backyard Bird Count, from beginning bird watchers to experts, and they can participate in their own backyard or anywhere in the world.
Each checklist submitted during the GBBC helps researchers learn more about how birds are doing, and how to protect them and the shared environment.
In 2015, more than 140,000 participants submitted their bird observations online, creating the largest instantaneous snapshot of global bird populations ever recorded.
Bird Feeding & Bird Watching at Meher Mount
Bird feeders and bird baths are a constant feature at Meher Mount. The Manager/Caretakers replenish the bird feeders on a daily basis.
Interested in learning more about the birds seen in the Meher Mount area? See the Birder's Field List for Meher Mount and the Ojai Valley first compiled by Manager/Caretaker Ray Johnston in 2007 and updated in 2015 by Board Member Robert Turnage. There are also copies at Meher Mount.