Join a Local or National Bird Count

Red Bellied Woodpecker

Getting involved in a national or a local bird count offers a new perspective on bird watching. You can count birds right in your own backyard or you can plan a trip to a local bird watching hot spot.

Why Count Birds?

Counting birds is a fun and educational activity that gives usa reason to get outside and enjoy the natural world. There is also a benefit for scientists. Birdwatchers across the nation can provide much more data than any single scientist or team of scientists could gather. The data gathered by bird enthusiasts provides scientists with a lot of information about where the birds are.

The data from counting birds can help scientists answer manyquestions, including:

  • How does a climate change influence bird populations?
  • How do migration patterns compare with past years?
  • Is urban development affecting bird populations?

Your help is needed. It doesn't matter whether you report the 5 species coming to your backyard feeder or the 75 species you see during a day's outing to a wildlife refuge. So get involved and have some fun.

It's great fun for the entire family. Make sure you include your children. Give them a chance to make a"sighting". Show them how to identify the new bird in your field guide or even draw their discovery in a notebook or journal. Getting a child interested in nature will enrich their lives forever.

Here are some things you will need:


Here is information on the two major, national counts

The Annual Christmas Bird Count The Great Backyard Bird Count

Following the information are some links to counts that are more localized.

The Annual Christmas Bird Count

is the best known nation wide (actually multi-national) count. This count has run annually for 107 years. It takes place from December 14 through January 4 each year. This event is a lot of fun and can be very educational, especially if you are a beginning birder.

This event has become an annual tradition for many families that has included several generations.

You do not need to be an experienced birdwatcher toparticipate. The CBC is conducted in what is called a "CountCircle". If your home falls within the boundaries, you simply stay at home and count the birds in your own backyard. If you prefer, you can also join a group of birdwatchers in the field. This is extremely educational since the group normally includes at least one experienced birdwatcher.

This is a great way to meet with birdwatchers in your area.The count will normally occur on a single day within the CBC timeframe.It is possible that there are more than one CBC circles in your area; you are welcome to participate in as many as you like.

The Great Backyard Bird Count

takes place in February. This one is very simple and is a lot of fun, especially for kids. You simply count and record the greatest number of each individual species that you see together at any one time, even at your bird feeders.

You can count in as many locations as you like, but you willneed to keep a separate list for each location. You spend as much time as you want to, during the four-day period, counting birds. At the end you tally the highest number of wild birds of each species seen together at any one time.

When you are finished you simply enter your findings on their web site.

If you are interested in participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count  please click here for more information.

Here are some links tomore localized bird counts.

If you are aware of a count in your area and would like to have it included here, please communicate with us through our Contact Us page.

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