How to Participate

COVID Statement: Watching birds is a safe and enjoyable activity we can do during the Covid global pandemic. For the 2022 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.

people looking for birds in past years of bird count
Past participants of the Great Backyard Bird Count. 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:

Below, explore step-by-step instructions for entering data using each available tool.

Merlin Bird ID

If you are NEW to the Great Backyard Bird Count and have a smartphone, we recommend you using 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.

Plymouth District Library/FlickrCC.

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.