How to Participate
COVID Statement: Watching birds is a safe and enjoyable activity we can do during the Covid global pandemic. For the 2021 Great Backyard Bird Count, we strongly urge participants to comply with all current country, province, state, First People’s lands, or municipal Covid-19 regulations and guidelines. This includes, but is not limited to, social distancing while bird watching and wearing a mask when birding with others.
Participating is easy, fun to do alone, or with others, and can be done anywhere you find birds. Simply watch birds for 15 minutes or more, at least once over the four days, February 12-15, 2021, and tell us what you see!
Pick the best tool to use for sharing your birds sightings:
- If you are new to the count, try using the Merlin Bird ID app.
- If you have participated in the count before, try eBird Mobile app or enter your bird list on the eBird website (desktop/laptop).
- If you are participating as a group, see instructions for Group Counting.
Below, explore step-by-step instructions for entering data using each available tool.
Merlin Bird ID
If you are NEW to the Great Backyard Bird Count and have a smartphone, we recommend you using the Merlin Bird ID app to enter your first bird. It is FREE and easy to use.
Merlin covers bird species from 7 continents and is available in 8 languages.
If you are already using eBird to track your birding activity, the FREE eBird Mobile app is a fast way to enter your bird lists right from the palm of your hand.
Desktop or Laptop
If you prefer to enter your sightings on a computer, perhaps after making a list while on a hike or watching your feeders, we’ll walk you through how.
Note: You can start entering bird lists at midnight local time on the first day of the count, anywhere in the world. Data entry remains open until March 1, but the information you enter should only be from the four days of the Great Backyard Bird Count.