Every year, bird enthusiasts across the globe participate in an extraordinary event known as the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC). This annual four-day event, jointly organized by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society, invites people of all ages and backgrounds to observe and count the birds in their local environments.
The bird count takes place Feb. 16-19, 2024.
The GBBC, which typically takes place in February, harnesses the power of citizen science to create a snapshot of bird populations around the world. Participants simply need to spend as little as 15 minutes observing birds in their own backyards, local parks, or any other outdoor spaces, and report their findings online.
What makes the GBBC particularly special is its accessibility. Whether you’re an experienced birder or a novice nature enthusiast, everyone can contribute valuable data that helps scientists better understand bird populations, migration patterns, and distribution trends.
The event’s simplicity and inclusivity have propelled its popularity over the years. In 2023, for example, bird watchers from over 100 countries participated, collectively documenting more than 34 million birds across 7,000 species.
The Great Backyard Bird Count serves not only as a fun and educational activity but also as a vital tool for ornithological research and conservation efforts. By gathering data on bird populations on a global scale, scientists can monitor changes over time, identify species in decline, and inform strategies to protect habitats and biodiversity.
For many participants, the GBBC is more than just a scientific endeavor—it’s a way to connect with nature, cultivate a deeper appreciation for wildlife, and contribute to the global community of bird lovers.
As climate change and habitat loss continue to threaten bird populations worldwide, the insights gained from initiatives like the Great Backyard Bird Count are more important than ever. By joining forces as citizen scientists, people from diverse backgrounds can make a meaningful impact on the future of avian conservation.
As the 2024 Great Backyard Bird Count approaches, organizers and participants alike eagerly anticipate another successful event, where birds of all colors and songs remind us of the beauty and fragility of the natural world.