Friday, February 17 through Monday, February 20 is a great time to become a citizen scientist involved in the grand effort to count birds—and it can be done from the comfort of your own back yard.
The annual Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is free, fun, and it’s easy to do.
Not only does it engage bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of bird populations, but it can be done in as little as 15 minutes.
However, those participating can also count birds as long as they wish on one or more days of the four-day event and report their sightings online.
From beginning bird watchers to experts, anyone can take part in the Great Backyard Bird Count, and can participate from anywhere in the world. Check out how to get started.
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.
In 2016, more than 160,000 participants submitted their bird observations online, creating the largest instantaneous snapshot of global bird populations ever recorded.
For more information, visit the official website.
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.
For more on the results of the 2016 GBBC and to see the top 10 most frequently reported species and the top 10 most numerous species, click here.
—From the National Audubon Society and Cornell Lab of Ornithology