Each February, for 4 days, the world comes together for the love of birds during the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC). Over these 4 days, we invite people to spend time in their favorite places watching and counting as many birds as they can find and reporting them. These observations help scientists better understand global bird populations before one of their annual migrations. Learn more about the GBBC in this short video.

Counting birds is as easy as 1, 2, 3.

1) Count birds anywhere you like for at LEAST 15 minutes—or for as long as you wish. Keep track of the kinds of birds you see and how long you watched.

2) Make your best estimate of how many birds you saw of each species. For example, 5 Northern Cardinals, 3 American Crows. Huge flocks may be a challenge, but your best guess is still valuable.

3) Enter your list(s) online at www.birdcount.org.

Put in a new checklist:

–for each new day

–for each different location

–for the same location, same day, if you counted at a different time of day

Note: There are 3 ways to enter your bird lists at www.birdcount.org

1) Merlin Bird ID app

2) eBird Mobile app

3) eBird web page (www.ebird.org)

If you have never participated in the Great Backyard Bird Count before, or have not participated since before 2013, you’ll need to set up an account. The Merlin Bird ID app, eBird Mobile app, or eBird.org will walk you through the process of setting up an account. You will be asked to provide your name and email and choose a personal username and password. Additional profile information is optional.

Learn more about using eBird in this video.