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The Great Backyard Bird Count

RWC tutor Leslie Rivera shares some interesting facts about this annual event.

The Great Backyard Bird Count is an annual event where participants from all over the world can submit data on birds in their area to researchers who use the data collected to assess the current state of bird populations as well as migratory patterns of birds. It is supported by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the National Audubon Society, and Birds Canada. The event lasts four days; this year, it will be from February 16th to February 19th.

The project was launched in 1998 by the Cornell Lab, where it was initially limited to a few countries. In 2013, The Great Backyard Bird Count became a worldwide event. Participating in the event is simple: pick a spot, observe your surroundings for 15 minutes, and record what birds you see. You then submit the data collected to either ebird (mobile/ desktop) or Merlin Bird ID. It is essential to note the time and location of the birds spotted as it is an integral part of the data collected. This data can be used to organize actions to preserve bird population and protect endangered species. 

Extra Facts:

  • The top five most commonly reported birds are the Snow Goose, the Common Murre, the Baikal Teal, the Sooty Shearwater, and  Abdim’s Stork.

  • Approximately 2.9 billion birds have vanished since the 1970s

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