Feb 13, 2019 | Featured in: Watching Backyard Birds, February 2019

Are You Joining the Great Backyard Bird Count?

A flock of cardinals descends upon a backyard patio. Photo by B. Schaeffer.
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Backyard bird watchers around the world will be tallying and reporting the birds they see the third weekend of February as part of the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC). While this is also a project of Audubon and Cornell Lab of Ornithology, it is not the same as Project FeederWatch. The GBBC is interested in birds beyond the feeders, and even beyond the backyard. The citizen-science-powered project aims to census birds in winter, and if more bird watchers participate, results will paint a more accurate picture of bird populations and distributions. Taking part in the GBBC is free, but there are protocols for tallying and reporting what you see. Visit gbbc.birdcount.org for complete instructions.





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  • I am excited to have my daughter’s tree this year, since my landlord has removed the lovely yew next to my patio, which was the only shelter for birds at my feeder.
    by pmalcpoet, Mon, 20 Dec 2021
  • Goldfinches will continue as long as Swiss chard is available. I'm watching one eating chard right now (mid-November in Vermont).
    by Brian Tremback, Sun, 14 Nov 2021
  • Birds are on the decline though sunflowers are rarely touched and for weeks hardly .eaten. I'll try a few sparing nuts on the table and a fat ball broken for jackdaws and tits but mealworms were a summer favourite being my go to choice
    by Paul Harabaras, Thu, 04 Nov 2021
  • I’ve been enjoying goldfinches eating coneflower/ echinacea seeds in my new pollinator garden! I will leave the plants out all winter for them if the seeds keep that long? Or should I deadhead and put them in a dry area? Im in CT and thought they migrated, but didn’t know they put in winter coats! What do they eat in winter without bird feeders?
    by Anne Sheffield, Sat, 04 Sep 2021
  • Hi Gary, I will pass your question along to Birdsquatch next time I see him. He knows infinitely more about nocturnal wildlife than I do. Where do you live? That's pretty important in figuring out the answer. But the thief could be raccoons, deer, or flying squirrels. Do you live in the woods? Are there trees near your feeder, or must the culprit climb a shepherd's hook or pole? Dawn Hewitt, Watching Backyard Birds
    by Dawn Hewitt, Mon, 30 Aug 2021