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Have you heard?

The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is here!

For four days, February 12-15, 2021, spend at least 15 minutes counting the birds you see.

Just as the name implies, the birds you count can be right outside your window. Or, head to your favorite birding spot to count.

The Great Backyard Bird Count is a joint program of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Audubon and Birds Canada.

Who can participate?

Everyone! This is a global event. Watch updated observation lists as they are submitted from around the world. For more ways to participate, check out the official website.


Use to track your birding activity

Get the Merlin Bird ID app for FREE for help identifying birds. I personally love the app. Not only does it make it easy to ID birds on the spot, but they have a library of excellent sounds. 

Dark-eyed Junco backyard bird

Dark-Eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis), aka Snowbird is a common backyard visitor in the Winter

Stats from the GBBC from 2020, according to the official website:

  • over 270 thousand participants

  • over 27 million birds counted

  • almost 7 thousand bird species identifies

  • 194 Countries participated

Why might this be the biggest event ever?

With the Covid pandemic and social distancing continuing into 2021, more people are staying home or finding activities in small groups. And, an interest in nature and birds continue to increase. It’s a great way to participate in a global event. It’s fun for individuals, friends and families.

One sponsor, the National Audubon Society, explains:

“The Great Backyard Bird Count 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


American Tree Sparrow (Spizella arborea) may be one of the birds you spot this weekend in your backyard for the Great Backyard Bird Count

Submit your photos for a chance to win!

Categories are:

  • Overall
  • Habitat
  • People
  • Composition
  • Group
  • Behavior

Check out the 2020 winners (a PDF gallery)

For more info about submitting your photography, check out the official rules and Share your photos


Get your checklists and cameras ready for the 2021 Great Backyard Bird Count! It’s a fun activity to enjoy from the comfort of your home, in your car, or your favorite birding spot.

Just spend at least 15 minutes documenting the species and number of birds you count. And perhaps best of all, submit your photos, which may be shared on social media, the Macaulay library, and a chance to be a photo Winner!

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