Citizen scientists needed for Great Backyard Bird Count

Feb 14, 2017
Photo by: Thinkstock

CHAPEL HILL — The Great Backyard Bird Count is celebrating its 20th anniversary of allowing birders everywhere to show their love for birds and conservation.

This worldwide event will take place February 17-20. The data gathered and reported by citizen scientists in North Carolina will contribute to ongoing research to help better understand how birds are affected by our changing climate.

“Citizen science events like the Great Backyard Bird Count contribute greatly to our bird conservation efforts in North Carolina,” said Heather Hahn, executive director of Audubon North Carolina. “The data collected this weekend will provide key insights on how birds are moving across the landscape and where they are thriving or in trouble. It will also give us critical information on how climate change is impacting birds.”

Anyone anywhere in the world can count birds for at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the count.

Bird watchers from more than 100 countries participated in last year’s count, documenting over 5,000 species —nearly half the possible bird species in the world — on more than 147,000 bird checklists.

North Carolina continues to be a top-performing state, ranking seventh in 2016. North Carolina birders documented 200 species during the Great Backyard Bird Count last year, turning in 5,521 checklists.

Participation is free and easy. Great Backyard Bird Count is a joint project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society along with Bird Studies Canada.

To learn more about how to join the count, download instructions, obtain a slide show, create web buttons and gather other materials, visit