The Great Backyard Bird Count Takes Wing

Help science, get outdoors, and bond with the bird mavens in your life over the holiday weekend.

Weizhong Qian

What to Know

  • Feb. 14-17, 2020
  • Free to participate
  • You'll want to sign up in order to share your observations with the National Audubon Society and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Catching sight of something up high that's rocking beautiful wings, and a beak, and the nifty ability to sit on a tree branch with aplomb?

That can happen whenever we step out our front door.

And though we might see several birds during our day-to-day, from crows to pigeons to doves to hawks, parrots, and even peacocks, noting where we have seen them, and other details, isn't at the top of our mind.

But it will be, for several people, over Presidents Day Weekend.

For that's when the Great Backyard Bird Count, a four-day event helmed by the National Audubon Society and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, will flap its wings over Southern California and elsewhere.

You'll need to register in order to share your sky-spied observations, and there are a few ways to do that, through either the Great Backyard Bird Count site or by creating an account at eBird.


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The info? Wing your way over here.

Then? Set a time to observe. The people behind the annual count, which is a February-fun tradition among feather fans, say that even 15 minutes is fine, though many observers make a full day or weekend of it.

There are tips, too, on how to identify and record the birds you've seen.

And, nope, you don't need to keep your eyes peeled for a Bald Eagle or other rare critter. The count wants to know about the day-to-day birds in your area, the sorts of sparrows or mockingbirds you might come across on a daily basis.

This helps broaden our collective knowledge of nature, a very good thing, indeed.

It also helps people get outside on what looks to be a bright and crisp February weekend, which is an act flush with pluses, too.

Would you like to play the important role of citizen scientist for a weekend, a day, or even a quarter of an hour? Flap flap over the count's headquarters now for more on this treasure of a nationwide, look-up, help-the-birds event.

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