Each February, for four days, the world comes together for the love of birds. Over these four days we invite people to spend time in their favorite places watching and counting as many birds as they can find and reporting them to us. These observations help scientists better understand global bird populations before one of their annual migrations.
In 2020 we designed a new website to help make your 4-day count easy, clear, and inspiring! In an effort to spread the love of birdwatching even further, we’ve moved away from using the Charley Harper image (pictured below). Instead, we use pictures of birds and people from around the world participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count. No matter what corner of the world you live in or visit, we want to share in your joy of birdwatching.
Launched in 1998 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) was the first online participatory-science project (also referred to as community science or citizen science) to collect data on wild birds and to display results in near real time. Birds Canada joined the project in 2009 to provide an expanded capacity to support participation in Canada. In 2013, we became a global project when we began entering data into eBird, the world’s largest biodiversity-related citizen science (community science) project.
Each year our participation grows as more people of all ages around the world spend their weekend counting, learning about, and celebrating birds. See results from past years highlighting the data and trends from the Great Backyard Bird Counts.
The Great Backyard Bird Count is an inter-organizational effort between the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, National Audubon Society, and Birds Canada. We work together to bring the joys of bird watching to our members.
Whether you count one bird or hundreds, participating is easy and fun for all ages! Let birds bring you closer to nature and to each other by spending four days in February with us!
The GBBC became the focal point of my day, and the birds were so familiar that I became worried when I hadn’t seen a particular Red-breasted Nuthatch that always comes to call at our feeder. Happily, he arrived just as I was finishing my count.
Anonymous Great Backyard Bird Count Participant