The 21st Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) will take place February 16 to 19 in backyards, parks, nature centers, on hiking trails, school grounds, balconies, and beaches across the country.
This global event provides an opportunity for bird enthusiasts to contribute important bird population data that help scientists see changes over the past 21 years.
To participate, bird watchers count the birds they see for at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the count, then enter their checklists at birdcount.org.
eBird collects bird observations globally every day of the year and is the online platform used by the GBBC.
In 1998, during the first GBBC, bird watchers submitted about 13,500 checklists from the United States and Canada. Over the four days of the count in 2017, an estimated 240,418 bird watchers from more than 100 countries submitted 181,606 bird checklists reporting 6,259 species–more than half the known bird species in the world.
To learn more about what scientists discovered the past 21 years and how to take part in the Great Backyard Bird Count, click here. The Great Backyard Bird Count is a joint project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society with partner Bird Studies Canada and is made possible in part by founding sponsor Wild Birds Unlimited.
The 21st GBBC is additionally notable because it is the February call-to-action for the Year of the Bird, a 12-month celebration of birds to raise awareness of how people can help birds by taking simple actions each month. The Year of the Bird is led by National Geographic, the National Audubon Society, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, BirdLife International, and more than 100 participating organizations. Learn more about Year of the Bird, here.
Photo of Snowy Owl, courtesy Kim Mann.