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By Kerrie Wilcox, Canadian Leader of Project FeederWatch, Birds Canada

Birds have been a fantastic source of entertainment for many of us during this worldwide pandemic. This year’s Great Backyard Bird Count gives us the opportunity to help the birds we love by observing them from the safety of our own home or local community, and making them count in this global event. Whether you’re an expert or a first-time birder, you can help create a snapshot of bird populations around the world.  Your counts will help us learn more about bird populations and their health. The 24th Annual Great Backyard Bird Count is on from February 12-15, 2021!

In this free, fun event, people around the world count birds for at least 15 minutes on one or more days. Birds can be counted anywhere – from the warmth of your home, while out walking, or at your nearest park. After you submit your results online, researchers use the data to study bird movements and populations – tracking bird migrations, monitoring changes in abundance for different species, and more. That means your participation will add to a body of knowledge that helps us all better understand and conserve birds. And, you can watch in real time on the live map as Great Backyard Bird Count contributions are submitted from around the world!

Because anyone can participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count, it’s a great activity to do together with all members of your household. It’s also an excellent learning activity that students or nature group members can do from their homes. Resources to help you with bird identification are available on the event website. Learn more and get involved.


The Great Backyard Bird Count has had a long history of incredible photos. While we will no longer be hosting an annual photo contest, we invite you to continue to submit pictures to us from your birding weekend. Bird photos and people photos will be uploaded separately.  Learn more. 

The photo contest winners from 2020 have been posted! Check them out on our share photos page. The first place overall winner was an image of a Roseate Spoonbill and Wood Stork taken in Florida by Ellen Trevor.

Help Spread the Word

Help us spread the word and make 2021 the “greatest” Great Backyard Bird Count ever! Please download and share a poster or social media graphic.

More about the Great Backyard Bird Count

The Great Backyard Bird Count is an inter-organizational effort between the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, National Audubon Society, and Birds Canada. The Founding Sponsor is Wild Birds Unlimited.

A woman and young child watch birds with binoculars.
GBBC 2020 participants: James and Jannike Photo: Justin Dutcher

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