Great Backyard Bird Count

This year marks the 15th annual Great Backyard Bird Count. This four-day event, taking place Feb. 17-20, enlists the help of citizen scientists. Researchers at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society are able to learn more about birds and how to protect them through your observations. Last year, more than 92,000 bird count checklists were turned in, creating North America’s largest instantaneous snapshot of bird populations ever recorded. Participation in this event is free, with no registration needed. The instructions: watch and count birds for at least 15 minutes on any day of the count, then enter your results at


Common Birds of Atlanta

While your family is counting birds, keep an eye out for these common feathered friends.

  • Brown Thrasher: state bird of Georgia; slender bill; gray face; yellow eye; white under parts with heavy black streaking; often found in dense vegetation.
  • Eastern Bluebird: bright blue upper parts; orange-red throat; white belly; often found in parks, gardens and perching on fences.
  • American Robin: broken eye ring; dull red breast and bellow; streaked throat; thin yellow bill; common in residential areas.
  • Red-winged Blackbird: permanent Atlanta resident; bright red patch on wings bordered by yellow; sharply pointed bill; often found in flocks with other species of blackbirds.
  • Northern Cardinal: males have bright red feathers; black around the base of bill; found in a variety of habitats, often with dense underbrush.

Source: Fernbank Science Center



Count with Others!

Chattahoochee Nature Center
Feb. 17-20. Fri., Sat., Mon., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., noon-5 p.m.
Kids of all ages can stop by the Nature Exchange to learn how to participate in the program, then kids can make a backyard bird feeder. 9135 Willeo Rd., Roswell. 770-992-2055. Adults, $8; Ages 3-12, $5; younger than 2, free.

Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area
Feb. 18, 9 a.m.-noon
An Atlanta Audubon Society naturalist will lead a walk, providing tips on how to identify bird species. Wear hiking shoes and bring binoculars, a notebook and camera. Ages 7 and older. Walks at 9:15, 10:15 and 11:15 a.m. 301 Johnson Ferry Rd., Marietta. 678-538-1200. Pre-register. $3 park entrance fee.

Dunwoody Nature Center
Feb. 18, 9 and 10:30 a.m., and Feb. 20, 10 and 11:30 a.m.
Birding lessons for adults and children will cover species identification, observation, and how to enter the tally on the birdcount website. Free. 5343 Roberts Dr., Dunwoody. 770-394-3322.