The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) offers an opportunity for birders to participate in a continent-wide, mid-winter census of birds. Held every year on President’s Day weekend in February, the GBBC is designed for participants of all ages and levels of expertise – from Scout troops and classrooms to refuge managers and ornithologists.
Participants count as long as they wish anywhere in the world during the four-day count period. They report their results online to the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, which compiles and stores the data for public use. The GBBC is a joint project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society with partner Bird Studies Canada.
The GBBC is held in February for several reasons:
- The information complements data collected by the Christmas Bird Count and other Audubon and Cornell Laboratory projects.
- February is traditionally a quiet time of year for natural history projects so the GBBC gets both professionals and the public involved in the out-of-doors.
- Scientists want to document the distribution and number of birds at the end of winter, the season of survival, before the spring migrations begin in March.
"People who care about birds can change the world," said Audubon chief scientist Gary Langham. "Technology has made it possible for people everywhere to unite around a shared love of birds and a commitment to protecting them."
So start now and plan your next Presidents’ Day weekend around your feathered neighbors.