Great Backyard Bird Count birdwatchers, by Debbie Beer

Each year in mid-February, the Birding Club of Delaware County (BCDC) joins birders across the globe for the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC). Whether you count one bird or hundreds, participating is easy and fun for all ages!

Use eBird or Merlin to count birds in your backyard, favorite park, national wildlife refuge, or anywhere. Birds are everywhere, and everyone can count them, spending as little as 15 minutes to watch and report sightings. Tune in to watch the world map light up with live-time submissions.

The GBBC is a phenomenal community science initiative. Over four days each February, a half-million birdwatchers submit about 300,000 eBird checklists from 200 countries. More than 7,700 avian species – two-thirds of all known birds in the world – are documented during the GBBC timeframe. Individuals, clubs, schools and community groups flock to the GBBC as a means to discover, learn, and connect over birds.

In Delaware County, for the 2024 GBBC, February 16-19, a total of 90 bird species were reported (up from 84 species in 2023). Birders dedicated many hours in surveying favorite hotspots with various habitats to look for waterfowl, gulls, raptors, owls, and winter songbirds. Notable finds include: Snow Goose, Killdeer, American Woodcock, Wilson’s Snipe, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Common Raven, Gray Catbird, Brown Thrasher, Purple Finch, White-crowned Sparrow, Orange-crowned and Pine Warblers.

Pennsylvania tallied 141 species for the 2024 GBBC. Counties in the southeast region led in the number of species, championing strong community-science efforts.

  1. Lancaster (104 species)
  2. Bucks (103)
  3. Chester (102)
  4. Philadelphia (99)
  5. Berks (96)
  6. Montgomery (96)
  7. Delaware (90)
  8. Dauphin (90)
  9. York (88)
  10. Centre (86)

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC), counting birds for conservation and community! We hope you’ll join us again next year.

GBBC beginnings: Launched in 1998 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) was the first online community-science project to collect data about wild birds and display results in near real time. Birds Canada joined in 2009 to support participation in Canada. In 2013, the GBBC went global when they integrated eBird, the world’s largest wildlife database dedicated solely to birds. Participation has soared ever since, involving hundreds of thousands of people from 200 countries. The Great Backyard Bird Count brings the world together to watch, learn about, count, and celebrate birds!