Instructions for Group Counts

COVID Statement: Watching birds is a safe and enjoyable activity we can do during the Covid global pandemic. For the 2021 Great Backyard Bird Count, we strongly urge participants to comply with all current country, province, state, First People’s lands, or municipal Covid-19 regulations and guidelines. This includes, but is not limited to, social distancing while bird watching and wearing a mask when birding with others. Thank you for protecting yourself and your community while celebrating the wonders of birds.

One Leader, One Group Count

Sagar Adhurya/Great Backyard Bird Count

This counting approach is popular among birding community groups that count together, but only one person feels comfortable entering the bird list.

  1. Identify the leader responsible for collecting the entire list of birds from the group count.
    • All the birds need to be seen in the same location, on the same walk, during the same period of time, etc.
    • For instructions on how to enter people’s lists when they bird in different locations see below; One Leader or Organization, Numerous Locations.
  2. The leader of the group makes an account in eBird.
    • If you plan to make this account available to others to view, we recommend a simple username and password you do not mind sharing. Click on the link to see how checklists can be shared with anyone in the group who has their own individual eBird account.
    • Keep the group username and password where it can be accessed by future count leaders.
  3. Enter the bird list for the entire group.
    • Please include the number of people in the Party Size location on the data entry form.
    • Feel free to add Checklist Comments if the group saw something unique.
    • Important: Learn how checklist can be shared with anyone in the group who has their own individual eBird account.
  4. Proceed to enter all numbers of species counted and Submit your Complete Checklist.
  5. If birding again as a group in a new location, with new participants, or at at a different time, submit a NEW list by following steps above.
Leigh Altadonna/Audubon

One Leader or Organization, Numerous Locations

This works well for situations where an individual or organization is taking responsibility for lists from multiple people and/or multiple locations. Or, with groups where there is one adult and the rest of the bird watchers are under the age of 13 and are unable to make their own eBird accounts.

  1. Identify the leader responsible for either collecting the all bird lists or monitoring the data entered by those in the group.
    • If one person is entering the data, collect bird lists via email, Google Forms, pen/pencil and paper, etc. Whatever works best for the person in charge of data entry.
    • Make sure each person has clearly listed their location, start and end time for their count, and the total number of each species of birds observed/counted.
  2. The leader of group should make an account in eBird.
    • Use an easy to remember, identifiable username and password.
    • Share the username and password with people who will be entering their lists into this account.
    • Keep the group username and password where it can be accessed by future count leaders.
    • Consider having a practice session where you walk participants through how to enter their data.
  3. If all participants enter their own bird lists into the one account;
    • Make sure they map their unique birding location, date, time, etc.
    • Each participant should make a new bird list for each unique observation if they bird at different locations, on different days, or at different times of the day.
  4. Make sure participants select that they are Submitting a Complete Checklist when prompted.
  5. The leader should frequently check entries over the count and clarify with people if there are questions or issues with the data.
    • Checklists can be edited and modified after they are submitted. Find the box that says, Edit Date and Effort next to the time of the observation. Click on this box and make changes.
    • Having all data entered under one username allows the group to quickly and easily see their cumulative effort.
  6. eBird list can be shared with other lists. If members who submitted data to this group list have their own eBird accounts, see how this list can be shared to their account.