Great Backyard Bird Count

Cedar Waxing by Tait Johansson

Launched in 1988, the Great Backyard Bird Count was the first citizen science project to collect data on wild birds and display results online in near real-time. In 2013, it became a global project when data could be entered into eBird, the world’s largest biodiversity-related citizen science (community science) project.

Each February, for four days, the world comes together for the love of birds. Over these four days people are invited 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.

The Great Backyard Birdcount is a collaboration of National Audubon, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and Bird Studies Canada.

In 2021, the count runs from Friday, February 12 through Monday, February 15.

Cedar Waxwing 3 by Tait Johansson

Cedar Waxwing by Tait Johansson

It’s easy to get started:

  1. Create a free Cornell Lab account. If you already use eBird, you can use the same credentials to register and submit data.
  2. Count for at least 15 minutes (or as long as you want) on at least one of the days during the Great Backyard Bird Count. As long as you submit separate checklists, you can count birds in multiple locations or at different times of the day at the same location. It’s totally up to you.
  3. Submit your data to the Great Backyard Bird Count using eBird. Or if you are new to the count, try using the Merlin Bird ID app.

Bedford Audubon is looking for volunteers to collect data for us during the Great Backyard Bird Count at Bylane Farm and our other properties—if this sounds like something you would like to do, please email Tait Johansson.