Participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count and contribute to science

Dark-eyed junco
Dark-Eyed Junco on a tree branch. (Photo provided by DCR)

~ Press release issued by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation

RICHMOND — The Great Backyard Bird Count is taking place this month and you can contribute just by identifying the birds around you.

Each year in February, during a four-day span, millions of people count the variety of birds that can be seen and heard in their own backyards. You are invited to participate in the bird count that takes place Feb. 17-20, 2023.

The Great Backyard Bird Count allows people from all over the world to come together and share their love of birds while learning about migration patterns. These observations help scientists better understand global bird populations before one of their annual migrations. 

All you need to do is log the birds that you count in a 15-minute period on at least one of the four days of the event. You can download the Merlin Bird ID app to help identify the birds in your area or you can use the eBird Mobile app to enter your bird sightings.

“Virginia State Parks provide the perfect location to view many different types of birds,” Chippokes State Park Manager Ben Richard said. “We have self-guided activities at Chippokes where guests can use the iNaturalist app to identify and count the birds they see. February is a great time to come to the park and shake off the winter blues, enjoy the refreshing air and spot a variety of birds that pass through the park or make it their home. We encourage families to get involved and make a game of it.” 

Those interested in participating in this year’s bird count can find an event or related program at one of several participating parks.

State parks that are having an event include:
●    Chippokes, Surry
●    Hungry Mother, Marion
●    New River Trail, Max Meadows
●    First Landing, Virginia Beach

“The Backyard Bird Count is a great program where anyone can participate and do their part to help scientists collect data to help birds of all shapes and sizes,” Hungry Mother State Park Manager Andrew Philpot said. “Join us at the park for a variety of activities that showcase the importance of the birds in the area. By simply identifying the birds around you, you can help protect numerous species.” 

Your participation matters and your bird count contributes to a global study that helps protect bird populations all over the world. The Great Backyard Bird Count is a great way to connect with birds, nature and each other.

Visit for more information about upcoming events at a State Park.



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