The 26th annual Great Backyard Bird Count is a free, fun, and easy event that engages birdwatchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of bird populations. Participation is also a great way for local groups to help their communities gain or maintain recognition as a Bird City.
This year, participants are asked to count birds for as little as 15 minutes (or as long as they wish) from Friday, Feb. 17, through Monday, Feb. 20.
Participating is easy and fun to do alone or with others, and you can participate anywhere you find birds, from your backyard or anywhere in the world. Participants range from beginning birdwatchers to experts. To join the fun, follow these three steps:
1. Decide where you will watch birds.
2. Watch birds for 15 minutes or more, at least once over the four days, Feb. 17-20.
3. Count all the birds you see or hear within your planned time and location and use the best tool for sharing your sightings: If you are a beginner and new to the count, try the Merlin Bird ID app. If you have participated in the count before, try the eBird Mobile app or enter your list on the eBird website.
You can explore real-time maps and charts that show what other participants are reporting during and after the count on the Great Backyard Bird Count website.