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It's Time to Count Birds! Great Backyard Bird Count February 13-16.
Pat Sziber

By counting the birds in your own backyard for just 15 minutes, you can be a citizen scientist making a worthwhile contribution to bird conservation. That’s right, your count will become part of the largest bird population database in the world, helping to track the distribution and movement of birds over the years. In 2013, the first international GBBC, nearly 121,000 checklists from 110 countries provided data on 4,004 bird species!

It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3! GBBC has been integrated with eBird, a data collection program that has been amassing bird data for a number of years. Don’t be put off by the terminology—the process is user-friendly and is meant to be used by regular folks. Here’s all you have to do:

  1. Count birds for at least 15 minutes on one or any number of the four GBBC days.
  2. Keep track of the largest number of each species you see at any given time, and how long you watched. You can do this at home, at a park….even watching your feeders from a window. Count even the most common birds, and simply estimate the numbers in large flocks, like geese flying overhead. Remember, don’t add together the numbers you see each time, just report the largest number seen at one time.
  3. Enter your list and counts online at gbbc.BirdCount.org You will need a new checklist for each day, or each location if you move around, or if you count at different times on the same day.

If you have never participated in GBBC before, or did not take part last year, you’ll need to set up an account at gbbc.BirdCount.org or www.ebird.org, providing basic information and choosing a username and password.

There’s lots of GBBC info and helpful tips at gbbc.BirdCount.org. For starters, click on either "How to Participate" or “Get Started.” Here you will find detailed downloadable instructions and access to a printable checklist for your area. Explore the whole website, where you will find a wealth of information. Finally, we’d love to hear from you about your GBBC experience.

Great Backyard Bird Count is a project of National Audubon Society, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Bird Studies Canada. And, if you would like to share your experience or a special sighting with us, please contact us by clicking on “Contact WCAS” below.





Suggestions to WCAS If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact either of the following:


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Last revision: Saturday, January 24, 2015