Every February, 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, more than 160,000 participants submitted their bird observations online, creating the largest instantaneous snapshot of global bird populations ever recorded.
The 20th annual GBBC will be held Friday, February 17, through Monday, February 20, 2017. 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 warm weather patterns have had on bird movement around the country. For more on the results of the 2016 GBBC, take a look at the GBBC Summary, and be sure to check out some of the images in the 2016 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 National Audubon Society or Cornell Lab of Ornithology:
National Audubon Society
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Inside the US: (800) 843-2473
Outside the US: (607) 254-2473)
The Great Backyard Bird Count is made possible, in part, by generous support from Wild Birds Unlimited.
2017 Audubon Photography Awards
This year's contest is now open! Submit your best bird photos by February 20th for the chance to win great prizes.
Join the Great Backyard Bird Count
Spend fifteen minutes counting birds, February 17 through 20, and report your results online. Your observations make all the difference.
Protect the Birds and You Protect the Earth
Birds and the places they call home are under attack, but with your help, we can fight back.