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Great Backyard Bird Count

February 12, 2021 - February 15, 2021

It’s time for the annual Great Backyard Bird Count! Every year since 1998, bird enthusiasts and nature lovers around the world have taken part in this four-day citizen science project to collect data on the distribution and abundance of bird species. In 2020, over 268,000 participants counted nearly 7,000 bird species in 194 different countries…and some of those birds were counted right here at the Huntsville Botanical Garden!

Why do we need to count birds? Birds play an essential role in a healthy ecosystem by pollinating plants, dispersing seeds, providing natural fertilizer, helping control insect populations, and more. The information collected during the Great Backyard Bird Count help scientists better understand bird populations so that they can better protect and care for our feathered friends.

Join in the bird count!

At the Garden, we will have bird checklists and observation sheets available so that you can take part in this global event. Simply stop by the front desk when you visit from February 12 through February 15 to pick up these free resources. If you're short on time, you can even leave your list with the front desk after completing your count, and our team will enter the data online for you.

The Garden is home to a wide variety of local and migrating bird species, so you will have plenty of birds to count! Check out the Lewis Birding Trail at the Garden for some top birding locations.

Can't make it to the Garden? No problem! You can participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count from anywhere, including your own backyard.

How to Participate

  1. Choose your location. You can count birds from anywhere! Remember to reserve your tickets in advance if you would like to count at the Garden.
  2. Observe birds for at least 15 minutes. You should count birds for a minimum of 15 minutes in one location. Keep track of the kinds of birds you see and how long you watched.
  3. Estimate how many of each species you saw. Make your best estimate of how many birds of each species you observed. Counting huge flocks of birds may challenging, but your best guess is still valuable.
  4. Create separate lists. Make a new list of birds for each new day, each new location, and each new time that you count between February 12 and February 15.
  5. Enter your list(s) online. You can use the Merlin Bird ID app, the eBird Mobile app, or the eBird website to enter your data online. Learn more about how to enter your data at

It's that easy!

To learn more about the Great Backyard Bird Count, check out the official website here.

The Great Backyard Bird Count is a joint project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the National Audubon Society, and Birds Canada.


Huntsville Botanical Garden

4747 Bob Wallace Ave SW
Huntsville, AL 35805 United States
(256) 830-4447