Great Backyard Bird Count: Help count the birds


By Becky Herman

Special to The SUN

The 21st annual Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) will be held Friday, Feb. 15, through Monday, Feb. 18. Please visit the official website at for more information and be sure to check out the latest educational and promotional resources.

The GBBC is a free, fun and easy event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of bird populations. Participants are asked to count birds for as little as 15 minutes (or as long as they wish) on one or more days of the four-day event and report their sightings online at Anyone can take part, from beginners to experts, and you can participate from your backyard, or anywhere in the world.

Checklists submitted during the GBBC help researchers at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society learn more about how birds are doing and how to protect them and the environment we share. Last year, more than 160,000 participants submitted their bird observations online, creating the largest instantaneous snapshot of global bird populations ever recorded.

“This count is so fun because anyone can take part — we all learn and watch birds together — whether you are an expert, novice or feeder watcher. I like to invite new birders to join me and share the experience. Get involved, invite your friends and see how your favorite spot stacks up,” said Gary Langham, chief scientist.

Bird populations are always shifting and changing. For example, 2014 GBBC data highlighted a large irruption of snowy owls across the northeastern, mid-Atlantic and Great Lakes areas of the United States. The data also showed the effects that warm weather patterns have had on bird movement around the country. For more on the results of the latest GBBC, take a look at the GBBC Summary and be sure to check out some of the images in the 2017 GBBC Photo Contest Gallery.

Visit the local Weminuche Audubon Society’s website,, or the society’s Facebook page at for more information.