Camden County Encourages Residents to Participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count

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Each February, for four days, the world comes together for the love of birds. From February 16th to February 19th we invite people to spend time in their favorite places watching and counting as many birds as they can find and reporting them. These observations help scientists better understand global bird populations before one of their annual migrations.

Launched in 1998 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) was the first online citizen-science project (also referred to community science) to collect data on wild birds and to display results in near real time. In 2013, the GBBC became a global project when they began entering data into eBird, the world’s largest biodiversity-related citizen science project.

According to the NJ Department of Environmental Protection, New Jersey is home to over 450 species of birds and many of them are found right here in Camden County.  Camden County recently installed bird-friendly glass on all of the windows in our new sustainability center in Gloucester Township.

From the National Audubon Society:  Birds are important because they keep systems in balance: they pollinate plants, disperse seeds, scavenge carcasses and recycle nutrients back into the earth. But they also feed our spirits, marking for us the passage of the seasons, moving us to create art and poetry, inspiring us to flight and reminding us that we are not only on, but of, this earth.


How to Participate

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

Decide which FREE tool(s) you are going to use for the count; the Merlin Bird ID app, eBird Mobile App, or on a computer. Learn more on the Participate Page. 

Download or log-in to your chosen tool before Friday, February 16, and give it a practice run.

If you use Merlin or eBird regularly to report birds, keep doing what you are doing! All entries during the 4-day event count.

Share your plans to participate with family and friends! We have a variety of resources on our Spread the Word page to make this easier!

Get on or search the Community Map! If you are participating in the GBBC with a group or community, consider adding it to our map. Or, looking to join others in a birding event? Search the map to see events near you.

Need a checklist? For those of you who prefer to tally birds on paper while you watch them at your feeders or out on a walk, we can help. Watch this short video to learn how to do this and then navigate over to to download the list of birds that are seen in your region. Please remember that these lists include migratory species that may not be back yet. Also, lists do not include unusual or out-of-range sightings. 


Birds of the World will be at your fingertips for FREE during GBBC weekend! Birds of the World is a powerful resource that brings comprehensive content into a single platform where birders can find life history information on birds from around the world. Every bird has a story. Discover and explore new birds during GBBC.