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Great Backyard Bird Count back next week — you can participate and here’s how


The Great Backyard Bird Count is back next week; more than 7,500 species were identified in 2023.

Thousands of Baikal Teal were seen in South Korea. (Photo by Sarah Van Ingelgom, Macaulay Library)

The Great Backyard Bird Count is just a week away from starting, and spotters are expected to identify more than 7,000 species of birds as part of the annual count. You can join the fun.

The count runs from Friday, Feb. 16 through Monday, Feb. 19 and is back for its 27th year of delightful bird sightings.

During last year’s count, 150,000 of the striking Baikal Teal were reported in South Korea. The duck is one of the country’s most beautiful.

A Lewis’s Woodpecker was spotted in Canada — the species typically winters in the southwestern United States.

A white-capped Tanager was spotted in Ecuador.
(Photo by Ben Lucking, Macaulay Library)


An Indigo Bunting was spied in Ontario; the bird usually heads to Mexico for winter.

In 2023, the global community got out their bird goggles and revved their counting engines. The U.S. clocked in with the highest number of checklists. China reported 494 different bird species. Together, the world counted 7,538 species of birds, and an eye-popping 151,479 media uploads were added to the Macaulay Library during the 4-day event.

This year promises to be as fun-filled and educational as bird watchers flock together with their tallies. Participation is simple. Count birds on one or more days of the four-day event and report their sightings using Merlin Bird ID or eBird on mobile or computer. Anyone can take part in the count, from beginning bird watchers to experts, and you can participate from your backyard or anywhere in the world. Count birds you see or hear for 15 minutes or as long as you want.

Join in the fun — be a Backyard Birder (Photos provided)

• If you are a beginning bird admirer and new to bird identification, try using the Merlin Bird ID app to tell us what birds you are seeing or hearing.

• If you have participated in the count before and want to record numbers of birds, try the eBird Mobile app or enter your bird list on the eBird website (desktop/laptop).

Visit the official website for more information and check out the latest educational and promotional resources. On the program website, participants can explore real-time maps that show what others are reporting during and after the count.

The Rural Blog


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