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The Great Backyard Bird Count

Main Project Information
Presented By Cornell Lab of Ornithology, National Audubon Society, and Bird Studies Canada
Goal Create real-time snapshot of bird populations.
Task Count birds you see anywhere for at least 15 minutes!
Where Global, anywhere on the planet

The next count is being held February 17-20, 2017

The Great Backyard Bird Count is an annual four-day event during which bird watchers count birds to create a real-time snapshot of where birds are located around the world.

Scientists and bird enthusiasts can learn a lot by knowing where birds are. Unfortunately, no single scientist or team of scientists could hope to document the complex distribution and movements of so many species in such a short time.

Anyone, from beginning bird watchers to experts, can participate in the The Great Backyard Bird Count. It takes as little as 15 minutes on one day, or you can count for as long as you like during each day of the event. It’s free, fun, and easy, and it helps the birds. In addition, yearly data collection makes the information more meaningful and allows scientists to investigate far-reaching questions.

Hosted by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, National Audubon Society, and Bird Studies Canada.

How to Join

Go to to set up a free account so that you can enter data.

Project Timing Friday through Monday, President's Day weekend (USA), annually.
Social Media
Special Skills Participants should at least be able to identify some familiar birds in their area and be able to enter the sightings online.
Ideal Age Group Elementary school (6 - 10 years), Middle school (11 - 13 years), High school (14 - 17 years), College, Graduate students, Adults, Families, Seniors
Ideal Frequency Just once
Average Time Less than an hour
Spend the Time outdoors
Type of Activity In oceans, streams, rivers, lakes, While fishing, On a hike, In the car, At home, In snow or rain, At the beach, Exclusively online, On a walk, run, At school, At a science center, zoo or aquarium, At night, At sports stadiums
Training Materials
Media Mentions
and Publications
Tags animals, at home, back, backyard, bird, birding, birds, birdwatching, count, ebird, gbbc, girl scouts, great, nature & outdoors, yard
Project Updated 08/10/2018