The Great Backyard Bird Count

Many years Mr. Charmer and I have participated in the Great Backyard Bird Count!

Backyard Bird Count

Counted: Northern Cardinal, Michele Black, OH
2012 GBBC

Have you heard of it before?
The Great Backyard Bird Count is celebrating it's 16th year and is taking place from Friday, February 15, through Monday, February 18!  It is an annual 4-day event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are. 2013 count is the first year it is WORLDWIDE!

Everyone is welcome--from beginning bird watchers to experts. It takes as little as 15 minutes on one day, or you can count for as long as you like each day of the event. It’s free, fun, and easy—and it helps the birds.

Participants tally the number of individual birds of each species they see during their count period. They enter these numbers on the GBBC website.

Backyard Bird Count

 Counted: Snowy Owl, Jen Howard, ON
2012 GBBC

Why count birds?

It helps scientists and bird enthusiasts know where the birds are. Bird populations are dynamic and constantly in flux. No single scientist or team of scientists could hope to document and understand the complex distribution and movements of so many species in such a short time.

Scientists use the GBBC information, along with observations from other citizen-science projects, such as the Christmas Bird Count, Project FeederWatch, and eBird, to get the “big picture” about what is happening to our bird populations. The longer these data are collected, the more meaningful they become in helping scientists investigate far-reaching questions, like these:

Backyard Bird Count

 Counted: Brown-headed Nuthatch, Marlene
Koslowsky, GA, 2012 GBBC

Bird Counting Can Help Answer These Questions?

• How will the weather influence bird populations?

• Where are winter finches and other “irruptive” species that appear in large numbers during some years but not others?

• How will the timing of birds’ migrations compare with past years?

• How are bird diseases, such as West Nile virus, affecting birds in different regions?

• What kinds of differences in bird diversity are apparent in cities versus suburban, rural, and natural areas?

It's a great way to spend time admiring our beautiful birds while helping them out!

Last Year 17,382,831 birds were counted - be a part of this great bird event!



  1. Hi Cathy, I'm answering you here because you aren't set up for reply by email. I wanted to say, nice guesses, on my how much I paid "contest". Thanks for playing. It's sure tricky to guess when things can be just about any price, isn't it? I'll reveal the prices with my next post, as soon as I can get to that. So glad you stopped by and gave it the old college try!

    As for the birds, I was watching them at the bird feeder outside of our window at work today, but mostly I was watching squirrels try their best (and in the funniest ways) to get the birds' food. The birds come and go, back and forth, very quickly as the squirrels come and go. How do you know if you are just recounting the same birds?

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