Get Outside

The Great Backyard Bird Count

Every February, count for as little as 15 minutes in your own backyard to help expand our understanding of birds.
Photo: Camilla Cerea/Audubon
Get Outside

The Great Backyard Bird Count

Every February, count for as little as 15 minutes in your own backyard to help expand our understanding of birds.

The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is a free, fun, and easy event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of bird populations. Participants are asked to count birds for as little as 15 minutes (or as long as they wish) on one or more days of the four-day event and report their sightings online at birdcount.org. Anyone can take part in the Great Backyard Bird Count, from beginning bird watchers to experts, and you can participate from your backyard, or anywhere in the world.

Each checklist submitted during the GBBC helps researchers at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society learn more about how birds are doing, and how to protect them and the environment we share. Last year, more than 160,000 participants submitted their bird observations online, creating the largest instantaneous snapshot of global bird populations ever recorded.

The 21st annual GBBC will be held Friday, February 15, through Monday, February 18, 2019. Please visit the official website at birdcount.org for more information.

Bird populations are always shifting and changing. For example, 2014 GBBC data highlighted a large irruption of Snowy Owls across the northeastern, mid-Atlantic, and Great Lakes areas of the United States. The data also showed the effects that warm weather patterns have had on bird movement around the country. For more on the results of the latest GBBC, take a look at the GBBC Summary, and be sure to check out some of the images in the 2017 GBBC Photo Contest Gallery.

Join an event near you!

Check out February birding events happening in New York:

Feb 16 - Great Backyard Bird Count, Intro and Birding hosted by Audubon Community Nature Center

Feb 16 - Birding at the Adirondack Interpretive Center sponsored by Northern New York Audubon Society

Feb 16 - Birding and Breakfast at the Kelly Adirondack Center, hosted by Southern Adirondack Audubon Society