On May 22nd VCE will celebrate the much-awaited spring migration during Backyard Bird Quest 2021, a 24-hour effort to record all the bird species we can find in Vermont. With luck and good weather, our backyards and neighborhoods will yield an impressive diversity of species. We’ll certainly need your help to reach our aspirational goals for 325 birders across the state to submit 1,000 Vermont eBird checklists reporting 200 species!
Sounds like fun, right? Participating is easy, from wherever you are in Vermont.
If you can spare at least 10 minutes, go outside and look for birds, then report your observations to Vermont eBird online or with the free eBird Mobile app. If you have more time, submit checklists of birds throughout the day at different times. You never know what you might spot. Your observations help us better understand Vermont bird populations through products like these amazing animated abundance maps brought to you by eBird Science using data collected by bird watchers like you!
How to participate
- If you don’t already have one, get a Vermont eBird account: Vermont eBird is part of a worldwide bird checklist program used by thousands of Vermont bird watchers. It’s what allows us to compile everyone’s sightings into a single massive list—while at the same time collecting the data to help scientists better understand birds. Sign up here. It’s 100% free from start to finish.
- Watch birds on May 22: It’s that simple. You don’t need to be a bird expert or go out all day long, even 10 minutes in your backyard counts. Backyard Bird Quest 2021 runs from midnight to midnight. You can report what you find from anywhere in Vermont (or beyond, really).
- Enter what you see and hear in Vermont eBird: You can enter your sightings via our website or download the free eBird Mobile app, which makes adding what you see even easier. You can enter and submit lists while out birding, and the app tracks how far you’ve walked so you can focus on enjoying the birds. While you’re downloading free apps, try out the Cornell Lab’s Merlin Bird ID app for help with identification.
- Make a pledge to Vermont Center of Ecostudies: You can make a gift or a per species pledge for Backyard Bird Quest 2021 and help raise $50,000 for VCE’s innovative wildlife conservation and community outreach programs.
Vermont Backyard Bird Quest Pro Tips
- With COVID-19, please follow recommendations from local health officials and avoid unnecessary crowds and travel. Bird your yard and local patches! For more information, visit the Vermont Forest, Parks and Recreation web site.
- Take photos or record sounds and add them to your checklist.
- Make your sightings more valuable: submit complete checklists, keep counts of the birds that you see, and keep multiple checklists throughout the day.
- Share what you’re seeing on social media with #backyardbirdquest
Birding our backyards engages us in the wonder and diversity right at our fingertips while deepening our connection to place. VCE’s Backyard Bird Quest team, the Green Mountain Goatsuckers, are looking forward to the adventure that awaits us right out our front doors, and we hope you’ll join us from right out yours. However you choose to participate, have fun and share what you see. In our world, every bird counts.