PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Through this coming Monday, you can help create a snapshot of how the bird population is doing — and you don’t even need a camera.

The Great Backyard Bird Count, an effort billed as “citizen science,” is going on now through Monday.

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Local birder Debbie Beer says it’s not complicated — you can count birds in your backyard  for as little as 15 minutes.

“It can be as intense or as easy as you like it. You can count local robins, and if you don’t know any fancier species, that’s fine,” she said.  “Or you can go out and look for rarities as well. They all count.”

So, what’s the point?

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“To gather  as much data as possible about birds, so that actual researchers and scientists can use this information to make decisions about policy, guidelines,” Beer says.

Hear the entire interview in this CBS Philly podcast…

Details are at birdcount.org.

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Reported by Molly Daly, KYW Newsradio 1060.