Will you count?

Presidents Day weekend is quickly approaching and that means, yes, it's time to count the birds again!

This year will mark the 22nd annual count that is held in February and I have participated in most of them. It is a fun, free, and interesting way to learn about the birds that populate your part of the world in mid-winter (for some - late winter here) and to provide scientists with valuable data which helps them to evaluate the status of bird populations and changes in birds' winter movements. 

Anyone can do it. Counting and reporting take no particular expertise. One takes at little as 15 minutes to observe and tabulate the birds in a particular area and then goes to the website, birdcount.org, registers the site, and reports. The website is user-friendly and walks you through the steps.

The count takes place over four days, Friday through Monday. You can choose to report on any of those days or on every day and, as I said, you can count for as little as 15 minutes or for hours - it's up to you. 

After you've made your reports you can revisit the website and watch as other reports come in from around the world. The GBBC originally took place only in the United States and North America but a few years ago it was expanded worldwide and now birders from around the world participate.  

Part of the fun of visiting the website is seeing the wonderful pictures that are submitted by many of the participants. There is a contest each year to select the best of the pictures.

So, no excuses! You can't say there are no birds where you live; there are birds everywhere, even if they are only House Sparrows, Rock Pigeons, and European Starlings. They are all important. Scientists need to know where they are and how many there are and you can help. I hope you will. 


  1. I will try to do some counting between the raindrops.

  2. Is that accepted as science or just for fun? That count must have biases. People could likely count the same birds, no?

    1. It is citizen science and they do have algorithms in place to try to ensure that the count is as accurate as possible. Plus unusual or highly unlikely reports are reviewed before acceptance. All the sites from which reports are received have to be registered so there would be a possibility of tracking duplicate reports. On the whole, I think the information that is accepted probably has a pretty high degree of reliability.

    2. I don't think that reliability is the problem but accuracy.


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