By MIKE CORN

mcorn@dailynews.net

The Great Backyard Bird Count is under way.

A joint effort by the Cornell Lab on Ornithology and Audubon, the GBBC is an annual affair.

This year's event started today and lasts through Monday.

The idea is for anyone -- novice bird watchers to experts -- to count birds for as little as 15 minutes on one or all of the days and then report their sightings online at www.birdcount.org.

Last year, 93,600 checklists were submitted.

The idea is to help gauge migration of birds, helping provide information on how that annual process is changing, perhaps as a result of a changing climate.

Checklists from dozens of Kansas communities were filed last year.

None came from Hays, but Oberlin, Phillipsburg, Hoxie, Ness City, Quinter and Smith Center birders submitted reports.

Kansas observers last year saw thousands of greater white-fronted, snow and Canada geese. All told, 132 species were reported.