Bird-Friendly Communities

North Carolina GBBC Launches with the First Lady

Northern Cardinal. Photo: John Flannery/FlickrCC
Northern Cardinal. Photo: John Flannery/FlickrCC
Bird-Friendly Communities

North Carolina GBBC Launches with the First Lady

North Carolina’s First Lady Kristin Cooper and Audubon North Carolina launched the 21st Annual “Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC)” at the Executive Mansion to help gather important information on the bird populations in the state.

The Count kicked off on February 16 with a boost from the watchful eyes of students from The Exploris School on the first day of the 4-day community science event.

First Lady Cooper and Audubon experts sought to inspire North Carolinians from across the state to help count birds in their own backyards and spark a lifelong love of birding.

“This is a great opportunity for bird lovers of all ages to get outside, get involved and make an impact,” said Curtis Smalling, director of conservation for Audubon North Carolina. “The data collected by local communities will provide our biologists with key insights on where birds are thriving and where they need greater support. It will also give us critical information on how climate change is impacting birds.”


Re-live our live broadcast of the Executive Mansion GBBC, meet local bird experts, and see our student-scientists in action on Audubon North Carolina's Facebook page! (You do not need a Facebook account to watch.)

Learn more about the count with these resources:


Many of you let the First Lady and Audubon North Carolina know that you completed a Count! We celebrated all counts on the Audubon North Carolina Twitter feed - @audubonnc.


The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is a citizen science project that runs for four days in February (typically over President's Day weekend), but you can count birds any day of the year! 

It only takes 15 minutes to become a community scientist by participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count. Participation is free and easy—simply go outside to your backyard or the nearest park and write down any birds you see for 15 minutes or longer. Report your sightings online at The rest of the year, you can birdwatch for any amount of time and submit your sightings to eBird.

Bird watchers from 140 countries participated in this year’s count, documenting almost 6,000 species – nearly half the possible bird species in the world—on more than 150,000 bird checklists. North Carolina continues to be a top-performing state for the Great Backyard Bird Count ranking, finishing 8th in 2018. North Carolina birders documented 188 species during the GBBC this year turning in 2,767 checklists.

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 sponsor Wild Birds Unlimited.

How you can help, right now