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For the Love of Birds

We have all heard about the declining bird populations and many of us, as garden enthusiasts, are doing what we can to nurture our local species. Did you know that you can also participate in tracking those populations?

The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is an annual, interagency effort by Cornell Lab of Ornithology, National Audubon, and Birds Canada (Oiseaux Canada) and is scheduled for February 16-19 in 2024. This annual event, first launched in 1998, became a global project in 2013. During these four days, birdwatchers of all levels and ages gather as much information as they can worldwide and report in real time. This is a true ‘participatory science’ project!

For more information, and to participate, go to You can sign up online and download the necessary app, either Merlin Bird ID (good for new birdwatchers) at or eBird at There are ‘how to’ videos about using this software if needed. There are regional bird lists, bird photos and bird sound links to help with identification – which make the whole process a lot of fun.

In past years I printed out my regional list of birds and carried it with me. If you’re more tech savvy then I am, you may want to download it all on your phone. You can observe, count and record for as little as 15 minutes one day or any length of time you want to over the four days of the event.

If you find you want more information check out

where you can take a free beginner course, listen to lectures, watch videos, or play games.

I thoroughly enjoyed being part of the ‘Great Backyard Bird Count’ in past years and thought you might also – it’s addicting!