The bird count has begun!

The 14th annual Great Backyard Bird Count takes place across the United States and Canada this weekend. Are you going to participate?

The count is from February 18th through the 21st. It’s organized by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the National Audubon Society and Bird Studies Canada.

You don’t have to be an expert to count the birds. Anyone can participate! Plus when you enter your data online, you have a chance to win prizes like birdfeeders, binoculars, books and more.

You can count birds anywhere, not just your backyard. Many birdwatchers count birds at National Parks, nature centers and even schools.

All you need to do is count birds for a minimum of 15 minutes on one or more days during the event.  Of course you can count longer if you want too. You can even count at different locations. You record the highest number of birds for a particular species you see at any one time. If your not sure of a particular species, it’s okay. You don’t have to report that one. Once your done, you enter the data online on the Great Backyard Bird Count website.

To make counting easier, you can download a list of the birds that you might see in your area. Visit the GBBC’s printable tally sheet webpage and enter your zip code, town or park to get your list!

Scientists use the data gathered to help document bird distributions and movements. You can also explore the data from previous counts on the GBBC website. Check out the maps or see the top 10 list of birds for your area.

For more information, visit the Great Backyard Bird Count website.