When: February 17-20, 2017
Where: Anywhere you like, including your own backyard

Every year, the Audubon Society and Cornell University host the Great Backyard Bird Count.

Joining in is easy: First, register for an account at the GBBC website. Then, spend at least 15 minutes bird watching on one of the three days of the count. That’s the minimum — you can watch for as long as you want, wherever you want.

When you’re finished watching and counting birds, log onto the GBBC site or the eBird mobile app and record your findings.

The Great Backyard Bird Count was launched in 1998, and now counts more than 160,000 citizen scientists among its ranks. The goal is to get a snapshot of how many wild birds are around these days, and where they’re living. Combined with data collected during the annual Christmas Bird Count, Project FeederWatch, and eBird data collected year-round, the information from the GBBC will help bird researchers study how climate affects bird populations, track the spread of West Nile, study migrations and more.

There’s more to do than just counting birds, too! You can also photograph the birds you see, and record their songs or calls to add to the eBird database. A photo contest is held each year, and last year’s prizes included a variety of bird feeders.

So download a birding app or borrow a field guide, head over to the San Joaquin County Audubon website to find bird lists for the county, grab your camera and binoculars, and get ready to count some birds for science!

Want to get friends, neighbors, coworkers or students involved? Download and print the 2017 Great Backyard Bird Count posters to spread the word.