Great Backyard Bird Count is Feb.16-19

You can be part of this annual community science opportunity.

Male cardinal [Photo by Michael Warren]

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Posted February 9, 2024 | By Barbara Schwartz, Conservation Chair, Marion Audubon Society

The 36th annual Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) will begin Feb. 16, and run through Feb. 19. The count takes place around the world.

In 2023, there were 202 countries participating, with 555,291 global participants.

Female cardinal. [Photo by Michael Warren]

The GBBC has been done every year since 1988 and is a joint project of the Cornell University Lab of Ornithology (bird science) and the National Audubon Society. You do not have to be an ornithologist or an experienced birder to participate.

Here are some tips to get you started:

  • On your cellphone: Download the Merlin bird ID app and the eBird mobile app. Marion Audubon Society has complete instructional videos for both apps on our YouTube channel. Make sure to add the “bird pack” for your region on both apps. Using both apps together is very helpful. Identify the birds with Merlin and list the birds on eBird. If you already have the apps on your phone, log-in to make sure you have the most recent updates.
  • Use on your computer to enter your bird lists. You can make your list manually while out bird counting and enter it at home. The eBird list can be added to your phone as you are birding.
  • So where do you go to count the birds? Anywhere! Your porch, patio, yard, local parks and bird feeders.

The Marion Audubon Society presents monthly educational programs via Zoom and many guided birding activities. You’ll find us on MeetUp and Facebook. We’d love to have you join us.

To learn more, go to

Baltimore oriole. [Photo by Michael Warren]

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