Seventy-five participants counted birds at Dorothea Dix Park during the Great Backyard Bird Count kick off. Photo: Eamon Queeney

Community Science

Great Backyard Bird Count Kick Off 2019

Dorothea Dix Park in Raleigh was a perfect place for kicking off another record-breaking Great Backyard Bird Count.

Raleigh, NC (Feb. 15, 2019) – As a kickoff to the global Great Backyard Bird Count, Audubon North Carolina, Wake Audubon Society, and the City of Raleigh hosted 75 participants for a bird count at Dorothea Dix Park in Raleigh on Feb. 15.

Kate Pearce, the City of Raleigh’s project manager for Dix Park, welcomed the crowd and emphasized Dix Park’s commitment to restoring native habitat in the park. Pearce introduced National Audubon Society President and CEO David Yarnold.

“As Raleigh becomes a city of a million people, events like this at parks are the way a lot of kids are going to learn about nature,” Yarnold said.

First Lady of North Carolina Kristin Cooper shared with the crowd how she partnered with Audubon North Carolina to create a bird-friendly garden at both the Executive Mansion in Raleigh and the Governor’s Western Residence in Asheville.

Following the remarks, volunteers from Wake Audubon Society led groups on a 15-minute count of birds at Dorothea Dix Park, finding 40 species including Barred Owl, Brown-headed Nuthatch, Red-winged Blackbirds, and our state bird, the Northern Cardinal. Wake Audubon Society will hold regular bird walks at Dix Park throughout the year.

Bird watchers in more than 170 countries submitted a record-breaking number of bird checklists – more than 200,000 – during the Great Backyard Bird Count again this year. North Carolina made a strong showing in the global Great Backyard Bird Count, ranking ninth among states in the number of checklists submitted. See top-ten lists of North Carolina counties and bird species here and explore full results at

To learn more about how to take part in the Great Backyard Bird Count next year, visit The Great Backyard Bird Count is a joint project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society with partner Bird Studies Canada and is made possible in part by founding sponsor Wild Birds Unlimited.

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