Hope you’ve been practising up on your bird counting skills because your help is needed to create a real-time snapshot of bird populations before one of their big annual migrations!

The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is happening this weekend! From February 12th to 15th, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Birds Canada, and the National Audubon Society are inviting birders of all levels to help contribute to eBird and become citizen scientists.

Anyone can take part in the Great Backyard Bird Count, from beginners to experts, and you can participate from your backyard, your local park, or your favorite place for bird watching.

How Does It Work?

GBBC is asking participants to count birds for a minimum of 15 minutes (or as long as you wish) on one or more of the four days during the event. Report your sightings online at birdcount.org. All entries submitted to eBird or IDs saved through the app Merlin over the four days will also contribute to the Great Backyard Bird Count.

You can watch the live feed as the results come in from around the world throughout the 12th to the 15th on eBird’s website. This feature is also available on eBird all the time, so you can always use it to check out how many birding checklists are submitted and where – it’s pretty cool!

House Finches enjoying a backyard feeder.

You can learn more about participating through the GBBC website

Not sure how to count birds? We can help! Check out our Birding 101: Counting Birds Field Notes post that will help you get the basics down. And if you’re curious about how to get the most out of birding in your backyard, we recently wrote about common birds you’ll find and other ways to make your backyard a bit more enticing.

Please be aware that travel restrictions are currently in effect all over BC. Until further notice based on direction from the Provincial Health Officer (PHO), all non-essential travel to and within BC should be avoided. Explore only your local trails and birding locations. Be mindful of the protocols put in place by local businesses.⁠

For more information about the latest provincial health orders, visit https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/info/restrictions