Take part in a garden bird census; virtually anywhere in the world!
Garden bird censuses – also called backyard bird counts – are a popular, fun, and worthwhile activity. If you want to take part, it’s simple; and it’s particularly fun for children.
Simply record the highest number of each bird species seen during the designated weekend. It can be in your garden/yard or on your balcony, and either on the Saturday or Sunday, or both. You don’t have to spend all weekend staring out of your window; half an hour is sufficient but you could spend longer. The morning is the best time to look, when the birds are out and about, feeding after a cold winter’s night. But remember – you should note the maximum number you see at any one time. So if for example you see 5 greenfinches at nine o’clock on Saturday and 7 at ten o’clock, you don’t write down 12, but 7.
If you want some advice on how to attract birds to your garden, check out a post I wrote on my other blog on feeding garden birds.
Bird censuses are taking place in other parts of the world, so wherever you live, you and/or your children could take part in one. In most European countries the weekend of 28-29 January 2023 is designated as bird census weekend. To get more information you can go to these websites: Belgium (Dutch or French: 4-5 Feb), The Netherlands, France, Ireland, UK. The USA is holding its Great Backyard Bird Count on February 17-20, 2023, and in Australia it’s taking place October 16-22, 2023.
Feel free to add your own country’s survey dates in the comments below and I will add them to the list.
If your country does not seem to organize a specific national garden bird survey, don’t despair. You can still count your garden birds, wherever you live, in any country of the world, and submit them to a great global initiative called eBird.
Cool. I didn’t know about the bird counts. Where I live near the Blue Ridge Mountains, I know that they do a Fall Hawk Migration count each fall where they count the numbers and types of Hawks that fly along the mountains. The Shenandoah National Park also extends through this part of the Blue Ridge.
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That’s what I would love to observe Pat! I hear that on certain spots you can see hundreds of hawks passing by.
[…] each species and count how many individual birds of each species visited. This is similar to the national bird surveys that I regular promote on my blogs, and which coincidentally are taking place this weekend (28-29 […]