Last Updated on May 23, 2023 by ellen
Have you ever participated in the Great Backyard Bird Count? The Great Backyard Bird Count is a citizen science project about the study of birds. It happens every year during February where people get together to count the birds they see in their backyard. This event happens over a 4-day period around the world. The information collected during this time is used for scientific research in the future.
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Great Backyard Bird Count Tips
We have watched birds for many years, and we taught the kids how to identify the common birds when they were very young. Their friends are still impressed that they can identify the different birds that stop at our feeder throughout the year. The Great Backyard Bird Count is a wonderful opportunity to introduce your child to wild birds, their habits, what foods they enjoy and their migration pattern.
Here are a few Great Backyard Birdcount Tips you can use this year with the kids.
Add bird feeders
One of the best ways to attract birds to your backyard is by adding a few feeders to your yard. We’ve been using a multi-purpose seed in a few of our feeders to attract a wider range of birds. Kaytee Wild Bird Food is a great choice to attract the widest variety of wild birds. In our other feeders, we use a black oil sunflower seed. Check out these wild bird feeding tips for more ideas. You can get all sorts of feeders and bird seed from Chewy.com which is where we got ours.
Pick a location
You can count birds at any location you choose. But, it’s most helpful if you pick one location and stick to it for the entire four days. We have bird feeders at our house and live in the woods so we count birds here. If you live somewhere where there aren’t as many wild birds, you may want to go to a local park.
Choose a time
It helps to be consistent. If you’re doing this with a child, you might want to do 15 minutes before they get on the school bus in the morning. Or, 15 minutes right after school. The recommended time is at least 15 minutes but you can always do longer.
Record the birds
You might find it helpful to have a bird book on hand if you’re new to identifying birds. There are a lot of cute bird identification books for kids. But, if you’re looking for a book for an adult or older child, I really recommend the National Audubon book. Don’t forget a pad of paper and a pencil to write down how many birds you see. It doesn’t have to be complicated. You can keep it as simple as 2 Robins, 3 Chickadees and a Crow if you like.
Make it fun
You’ll want to make this process fun for the kids so they stay interested. Depending on the age of your child, you can introduce story books, coloring books, a bird feeder house kit, or a pair of binoculars of their own.
Submit your information
Once you’ve collected the data from February 16 to February 19, you can submit it on the Great Backyard Bird Count website. Remember, you don’t need to stop watching, recording, and feeding the birds once the event is over. Birdwatching is a great lifelong hobby. Stock up on supplies at Chewy.com.
Will you be participating in the Great National Bird Count?
Learn what to do if you have found a baby blackbird or other bird.
Ellen runs a small pet sitting business in southern Vermont. She has experience with a variety of small animals, dogs and cats. She has also cared for ducks, chickens and rabbits. Combined, she has over 20 years of experience in pet care and pet sitting.