How Many Wild Birds? Great Backyard Bird Count, Feb 17-20

Birds at Marcy's feeder (photo by Marcy Cunkelman)
Chickadee and American goldfinches at the feeder (photo by Marcy Cunkelman)

10 February 2023

Have you ever wondered how many wild birds live on Earth? Scientists came up with a very good estimate in 2021 by using data algorithms on the sightings logged in Cornell Lab’s eBird database. The answer two years ago was 50 billion — six birds for every human — but the numbers change so they plan to rerun the analysis every couple of years. And that’s where we come in. They need our help by counting birds.

Every sighting logged in eBird contributes to the global knowledge of birds. Like an individual raindrop each sighting is added to the river of data that tells the story. Three times a year we create a momentary global deluge during the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) in February, Migratory Bird Count Day in May and the Christmas Bird Counts at year end.

So here comes our opportunity. Join people around the world for the Great Backyard Bird Count, Friday to Monday, 17-20 February 2023.

The Great Backyard Bird Count is more than just backyard birding. You can count birds anywhere — from your window, while on a trail, on the beach, or parked to count from your car.

Everything you need to know is at The How To Participate instructions are quoted below:

“Participating is easy, fun to do alone or with others, and can be done anywhere you find birds.

Step 1: Decide where you will watch birds.

Step 2: Watch birds for 15 minutes or more, at least once over the four days, 17-20 February 2023.

Step 3: Identify all the birds you see or hear within your planned time/location and use the best tool for sharing your bird sightings:

  • If you are a beginning bird admirer and new to bird identification, try using the Merlin Bird ID app to tell us what birds you are seeing or hearing.
  • If you have participated in the count before and want to record numbers of birds, use the eBird Mobile app or enter your bird list on the eBird website (desktop/laptop).

If you already contribute to eBird or Merlin, continue what you are doing! All entries over the 4-days count towards the GBBC.”

Count birds and have fun.

For more information on the number of wild birds on Earth, see Scientists Determine How Many Wild Birds Populate The Planet And… It’s A Lot.

(photo by Marcy Cunkelman)

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