How to Participate

People looking for birds in past years of bird count.
People enjoying birding. Clockwise from top left: Belize Audubon Society/Audubon; Justin Dutcher/GBBC; Parvaiz Shagoo/GBBC; Bethany Gray/GBBC.

Participating is easy, fun to do alone or with others, and can be done anywhere you find birds.

Step 1: Decide where you will watch birds.

Step 2: Watch birds for 15 minutes or more, at least once over the four days, February 18-21, 2022.

Step 3: Count all the birds you see or hear within your planned time/location and use the best tool for sharing your bird sightings:

If you already contribute to Merlin or eBird, continue what you are doing! All entries over the 4-days count towards GBBC.

How to Enter Data: Options and Step-by-Step Instructions


Merlin Bird ID

If you are NEW to the Great Backyard Bird Count and have a smartphone, we recommend you use the Merlin Bird ID app to enter your first bird. It is FREE and easy to use.

Merlin covers bird species from 7 continents and is available in 12 languages.


eBird Mobile

If you are already using eBird to track your birding activity, the FREE eBird Mobile app is a fast way to enter your bird lists right from the palm of your hand.

eBird sightings in a wintery evergreen scene.
eBird sightings in winter.

Desktop or Laptop

If you prefer to enter your sightings on a computer, perhaps after making a list while on a hike or watching your feeders, we’ll walk you through how.

Want to print a checklist of birds commonly seen in your area? Watch the video below to learn how

Person sitting at computer at sunrise.
Simon Abrams, Unsplash CC

Note: You can start entering bird lists at midnight local time on the first day of the count, anywhere in the world. Data entry remains open until March 1, but the information you enter should only be from the four days of the Great Backyard Bird Count.

Downloading a Checklist of Birds

If you want to download a checklist of birds found in your area, the video will show you how to do this on eBird.org. This may be helpful if you are manually tallying your birds.

Navigate to eBird’s Explore page to get started!

Learn how to print a checklist of birds found in your area.