Downy_Woodpecker_Sascha_Forte_Great_Backyard_Bird_Count_Participant
Great Backyard Bird Count

About the Great Backyard Bird Count

Count for as little as 15 minutes in your own backyard to help expand our understanding of birds

Photo: Sascha Forte/Great Backyard Bird Count Participant. Downy Woodpecker

About the Great Backyard Bird Count

Count for as little as 15 minutes in your own backyard to help expand our understanding of birds

The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is a free, fun, and easy 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 four-day event and report their sightings online at birdcount.org. Anyone can take part in the Great Backyard Bird Count, from beginning bird watchers to experts, and you can participate from your backyard, or anywhere in the world.

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 144,000 online checklists, creating the world's largest instantaneous snapshot of bird populations ever recorded.

The 18th annual GBBC will be held Friday, February 13, through Monday, February 16, 2015. Please visit the official website at 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, 2014 GBBC data highlighted a large irruption of Snowy Owls across the northeastern, mid-Atlantic and Great Lakes areas of the United States. The data also showed the effects that the polar vortex had on bird movement around the country. For more on the results of the 2014 GBBC, take a look at the Halftime Report, and be sure to check out some of the images in the 2014 GBBC Photo Contest Gallery.

On the program website participants can explore real-time maps and charts that show what others are reporting during and after the count. Be sure to check out the Explore a Region tool to get an idea of what you can expect to see in your area during the next GBBC.

For questions and comments, please contact the Cornell Lab of Ornithology or the National Audubon Society:

Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Inside the US: (800) 843-2473
Outside the US: (607) 254-2473)
gbbc@cornell.edu

National Audubon Society
citizenscience@audubon.org

The Great Backyard Bird Count is made possible, in part, by generous support from Wild Birds Unlimited.