Female Cardinal Great Backyard Bird Count
Female Cardinal Great Backyard Bird Count

Do you love all things birds, nature, and want to contribute to scientific studies easily? Join in on the 25th annual Great Backyard Bird Count, hosted by Cornell Ornithology. This global event includes roughly 100 million bird sightings each year and wildlife biologists, climate change scientists, and others use that data to create scientific models, create conservation strategies, and understand population movements.

This event takes place closely after Valentine’s Day (February 14th), each year. This helps provide data for bird movement right before they get ready to migrate in the spring!

Can Anyone Participate?

Yes! While many community science projects require training for their volunteers to go through, this is a simple count for the whole family!

  1. Pick your count location. Backyards, nature centers, at your favorite park; these are all great spots as long as you can stay there for 15+ minutes.
  2. Count the various bird species you see from that spot. This can be done at any point over the Great Backyard Bird Count timeframe.
    1. If you can identify birds by ear, be sure to count those too! Count them all, provided that you can properly identify and document them.
  3. Upload your count documentation to eBird. You will need to create an account, then include data such as location, date/time, how many people you birded with (if any), the time you spent birding, and the species seen. eBird includes an easy to use birding checklist so you can simply check off the birds seen!
    1. Keep in mind, if you submit a “rare bird” sighting, you may be required to also upload an image so the sighting can be verified. It’s fun to take pictures anyway, and upload them to iNaturalist as part of a data collection & collaboration effort.

Where Can I Count?

While you can count anywhere, search to see if any local nature centers or environmental organization are leading bird walks and counts. If so, then you would be participating in a group count.

Group counts are recorded differently, so consult with the count organizer about how they will be collecting sightings and documenting. You can learn more about group counts HERE.

Can’t participate, but still want to support bird conservation and habitat protection? Snag some The Art of Ecology swag and a portion of the proceeds will benefit wildlife conservation efforts!

1 Comments on “Get Excited about the Great Backyard Bird Count!”

  1. Pingback: Why Care About Counting Birds? - The Art of Ecology

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