What to Know
- Through Monday, Feb. 15
- Thousands of citizen scientists are watching the skies near their homes and reporting their feathery findings
- The annual count, founded by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society, helps scientists understand bird migrations and populations
Excitedly hurrying inside, after a walk with the dog, to tell the family you spied a regal Cooper's Hawk, a quick-flighted Lesser Goldfinch, or the bluer-than-blue Western Scrub Jay?
It can feel as though you've just received a from-the-skies surprise, a brief but happy memory of connecting, for a second or two, with the nature of your neighborhood.
If you can connect for a bit longer, say 15 minutes or more, then you can contribute to the science that delves into our country's wild bird populations and their migratory patterns.
Just look up, and all around, and at that tree branch, and at the top of the fence over there, and observe the birds of your neighborhood during The Great Backyard Bird Count.
It's flapping its wings through Monday, Feb. 15.
Is it free to join? Absolutely. Is it open to anyone? You bet. Citizen scientists, this is your moment to help a nature-based project that is both vast and future-looking.
Can you see what other birders across the nation are seeing? Again, absolutely.
There's a live map and real-time results on this page.
To help newcomers to the count get started, there are suggestions on bird identification apps, and ways to keep track of the birds you've beheld, right here.
Once you're ready to share the beak-beautiful visitors to your yard or immediate area, you can, via eBird (there's a link about halfway down this page, next to the dove photo).
You can enter your findings ASAP, moments after a bird you noticed flies away, but if you need extra time to compile all of the crows, gulls, and sparrows you've seen, you have through to March 1, 2021 to share your observations.
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society are behind this annual come-together, celebrate-birds event. Founded in 1998, the Great Backyard Bird Count has helped thousands of nature lovers get involved, and stay connected, on the local level.
The very, very local level. So peek out your window, step onto a balcony or porch, and take a look, right now, at what's sitting on your garden gate, chirping away.