The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is an annual four-day event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of bird populations. 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 event and report their sightings online at www.birdcount.org.
Anyone can take part in the Great Backyard Bird Count, from beginning bird watchers to experts, and you can now participate from anywhere in the world! You can participate from your kitchen window by simply counting the birds you see in your yard.
It’s free, fun, and easy. Each checklist submitted during the GBBC helps researchers at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society learn more about how birds are doing, and how to protect them and the environment we share. Last year, participants turned in more than 134,000 online checklists, creating the world’s largest instantaneous snapshot of bird populations ever recorded.
The 17th annual GBBC will be held Friday, February 14, through Monday, February 17, 2014. Please visit the official website at www.birdcount.org for more information and be sure to check out the latest educational and promotional resources.
“This count is so fun because anyone can take part — we all learn and watch birds together — whether you are an expert, novice, or feeder watcher. I like to invite new birders to join me and share the experience. Get involved, invite your friends, and see how your favorite spot stacks up.”
-Gary Langham, Chief Scientist
Bird populations are always shifting and changing. For example, 2013 GBBC data highlighted a large irruption of winter finches, including Red and White-winged Crossbills and Common and Hoary Redpolls, across much of the United States. Experts believe that these movements are caused by the failure of tree seed crops in their normal winter ranges. For more on the results of the 2013 GBBC, take a look at the full summary, and be sure to check out some of the images in the 2013 GBBC Photo Contest Gallery.
On the www.birdcount.org website, participants can explore real-time maps and charts that show what others are reporting during and after the count. All participants are entered in a drawing for prizes that include bird feeders, binoculars, books, CDs, and many other great products.