Citizen Scientists Needed For The Great Backyard Bird Count

This February 17-20 is the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) and everyone can become citizen-scientists for the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. Last year was the hottest year ever recorded, marking the third conscutive year in a row that average global temperatures hit record-setting levels according to NASA and National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). This weather phenomenon continues warming Pacific waters to record breaking high temperatures are already causing surprise oceanic wayward visitors to our Bay Area shores.

Participants in the 2017 GBBC, may also be in for some surprises. The vital information gathered and reported will help scientists track changes in the sensitive lives of birds, some of which may be traced to global warming. 

To help, count birds in as many places and on as many days as you like—one day or all four days. Download a checklist of birds in your area or use the free eBird Mobile app. There is also a Photography Contest for kids love to take pictures.


Here are common birds you're likely to spot in the Bay Area.

Birds in Your Yard


Birds in the Bay, Marshes, Creeks, & Reservoirs

SUGGESTED PLACES TO VIEW THESE BIRDS: Richardson Bay Audubon Center & Sanctuary, Corte Madera Ecological Reserve, China Camp State Park, Gallinas Creek, Novato Creek Marsh, Rush Creek Marsh, San Rafael Bayfront, Triangle Marsh (Ring Mountain in Corte Madera.), Bolinas Lagoon, Tomales Bay, Kent Lake, Abbott's Lagoon, Olema Creek, Arroyo del Corte Madera, Rodeo Lagoon


Woodland Birds

SUGGESTED PLACES TO VIEW THESE BIRDS: Muir Woods, Mt. Tamalpias, Mount Burdell


Birds in the Fields


SUGGESTED PLACES TO VIEW THESE BIRDS: Mt. Vision, Muir Woods, Mt. Tam, Hawk Hill (Marin Headlands), Mt. Burdell Open Space Preserve


Birds at the Ocean

SUGGESTED PLACES TO VIEW THESE BIRDS: Kehoe Beach (Point Reyes National Seashore), Drake's Beach, Limantour, Palomarin Beach, Stinson Beach, Bolinas Beach

Special thanks to: 

National Audubon Society & Cornell Lab for permission to their image library.

Byron Chin for permission to use his amazing photographs.

Kerry Wilcox of Richardson Bay Audubon Center & Sanctuary for identifying birds for each category.

David Herlocker with Marin County Parks & Open Space for suggestion places to view in Marin County.