Friday through Monday, Feb. 16–19, 2018

The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is an annual, four-day event that encourages bird watchers of all ages and skill levels to count birds and report their results online to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. The data collected gives useful information to scientists, which enables them to better evaluate fluctuations in bird populations. To learn more, visit gbbc.birdcount.org.

 
Wake County Parks staff encourages you to participate by joining us for our counts and by counting in your own backyard! Our parks are offering programs (listed below for each park) and events to encourage your involvement in GBBC!
 
Whether you're an avid birder or a beginner who wants to learn more about local birds, the GBBC is for you!
 
 
 
Great Backyard Bird Count Programs
Happening in our Wake County Parks:
 
Preregistration is required for all programs, unless otherwise noted.
 
 
 
To register online, visit each park's web page or visit our online registration website.
 

Blue Jay Point County Park

Family Wildlife Series: Bird Olympics
Monday, Feb. 19
Time: 10–11 a.m.
For all ages
Cost: FREE!
We have decided that counting is for the birds this year and want to celebrate the Great Backyard Bird Count by playing fun and active outdoor games to learn about bird behavior. Join Blue Jay staff for a rollicking good time! Many games and activities will be best suited for ages 5 and up, though we will have some fun things especially for the wee ones. FWS participants under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. This particular FWS is free in honor of the Great Backyard Bird Count. All family members attending the program must be registered.
 

Harris Lake County Park

Introduction to Bird Watching
Friday, Feb. 16
Time: 3:30–5:30 p.m.
For all ages (best for older than 4)
Cost: FREE!
Meet at the Longleaf Shelter.
Learn some tips and techniques to identify birds as we introduce you to the rewarding hobby of birdwatching through fun activities. Learn how to participate in the GBBC and hike along the shoreline to practice your new skills and help us count the birds. Registration in our online system is required for all participants. Dress for the weather, bring water and binoculars if you have them or borrow ours.
 
Morning Bird Walks
Saturday, Feb. 17 and Monday, Feb. 19
Time: 9–10:30 a.m.
For all ages (best for older than 4)
Cost: FREE!
Meet at the Platform in the Educational Garden.
Help park staff add to our Great Backyard Bird Count data as we walk along the trails and shoreline to identify our birds in different habitats of the park. Dress for the weather, wear comfortable shoes, bring water and binoculars if you have them or borrow ours.
 
Wonderful Woodcocks and Wagon Ride
Saturday, Feb. 17
Time: 5:30–7 p.m.
For ages 12 and up       
Cost: FREE!
Meet at the wagon near the playground.
Embark on a wagon ride into a remote area of the park in the hopes of seeing one of nature’s coolest spectacles. The male Woodcock takes making a good impression to new heights! These small birds will take flight into the evening sky and perform aerial acrobatics before coming back down to the ground. Dress for the weather, bring water and binoculars if you have them or borrow ours. Bring a blanket for the wagon ride.
 
Heart Healthy Bird Walk
Sunday, Feb. 18
Time: 1–2:30 p.m.
For all ages
Cost: FREE!
Meet at the Cypress Shelter.
Join park staff for an afternoon walk for the Great Backyard Bird Count to add birds to our GBBC list while engaging in heart healthy physical activity for Wake County’s Heart Health Awareness Month.  A representative from Wake County Human Resources will share some heart healthy tips and enter all participants in a drawing for a door prize. Dress for the weather, bring water and binoculars if you have them or borrow ours.
 
Raptors of Harris Lake County Park
Monday, Feb. 19
Time: 1–2:30 p.m.
For ages 6 and up
Cost: FREE!
Meet at the Cypress Shelter.
There are many kinds of raptors or birds of prey that call Harris Lake County Park home. Some stay all year like the Bald Eagle and others like the Osprey live here only part of the year. Discover the adaptations that make them such great survivors and take a short hike to search for sightings of them around the park. Dress for the weather, bring water and binoculars if you have them or borrow ours. 

The American Tobacco Trail

Bird Walk along the American Tobacco Trail
Friday, Feb. 16
Time: 8–10 a.m.
For ages 6 and up
Cost: FREE!
Meet at the picnic table at the New Hill Parking Area.
As part of our Great Backyard Bird Count Programs, we will observe and count the variety of birds that can be found along the Trail as we walk to the Beaver Creek Bridge. Registration in our online system is required for all participants. Dress for the weather, bring water and binoculars if you have them or borrow ours.

Historic Yates Mill County Park

 
A Year of Birding at Yates Mill Pond
Friday–Monday, Feb. 16–19
Time: 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m.
For all ages
Cost: FREE!
Come by the park center any time during the four days of the Great Backyard Bird Count to view a free slideshow of the birds of Yates Mill Pond. Over 150 photographs of birds are featured in the show, along with a few cool mammals. This slideshow, which has accompanying music, was put together a few years ago by photographer Paula Page.
 
Build a Bluebird House
Friday, Feb. 16
Time: 2–4 p.m.
For all ages
Cost: $12 per box
Learn about the history of the Eastern Bluebird and how you can attract them to your yard. Hike with us along our bluebird trail to check the boxes and prepare them for the coming season. Then make your own nest box to take home. Preregistration is required, and adult accompaniment is required for all children.
 
Breakfast with the Birds
Saturday, Feb. 17
Time: 9–10:30 a.m.
For all ages
Cost: FREE!
Enjoy doughnuts with a cup of shade-grown, bird-friendly coffee or hot chocolate for the kids, before leisurely walking the trails with a park naturalist to identify and count the birds. Please bring a reusable mug for each member of your family. Registration is required for all participants, and children must have adult accompaniment.
 
Afternoon Backyard Bird Count
Sunday, Feb. 18
Time: 2:30–3:30 p.m.
For all ages
Cost: FREE!
Join a park naturalist on a one-mile hike around Yates Mill Pond and help to identify and count the birds that we see along the way. Learn how to identify backyard birds by sight, sound and other signs. Preregistration is not required, but adult accompaniment is required for all children.
 
Discovery Table: National Birds
Monday, Feb. 19
Time: 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m.
For all ages
Cost: FREE!
Is it true that Turkey and Eagle once faced off to see who would be our national bird? Find out the answer and discover the natural characteristics that made each bird a contender. Celebrate Presidents Day and the Great Backyard Bird Count in one fell swoop! Learn about the use of birds in national symbols and make your own bird-themed Great Seal to take home. Registration is not required. 

Crowder County Park 

Afternoon Backyard Bird Count
Saturday, Feb. 17
3:30–4:30 p.m.
For all ages
Cost: FREE!
Join a park naturalist on a one-mile hike around Crowder Pond and help to identify and count the birds that we see along the way. Learn how to identify backyard birds by sight, sound and other signs. Preregistration is not required, but adult accompaniment is required for all children.
 
Early Birders 
Monday, Feb. 19
9–10 a.m.
For all ages (recommended for children ages 4-10)
Cost: FREE!
Join us on a winter bird scavenger hunt! Search for common birds of the park and count them along the way. Practice using binoculars and learn how to identify these animals by shape and color. Registration is required for all family members, and children must have adult accompaniment.

Lake Crabtree County Park

 
Bird Walks
Friday, Feb. 16, Saturday, Feb. 17, Sunday, Feb. 18, and Monday, Feb. 19
Time: 8:30–10 a.m.
Cost: All are FREE!
Join park staff in collecting data for the 21st annual Great Backyard Bird Count. We will look and listen for birds in a variety of habitats, and keep track of how many individuals of each species we find. New and experienced birders of all ages are welcome. Learn field ID techniques for our winter residents and visitors. We will end at the park office for hot beverages and a review of our sightings. Click on the Register Online button to get signed up for any of these dates.
 
Birdie Benefits
Saturday, Feb. 17
Time: Noon–3 p.m.
Cost: FREE!
Stop by the Managers Office for a variety of bird-related games, activities and crafts. Learn how you can help the birds in your neighborhood and beyond. We will talk about ways to attract birds to your outdoor space, how to help birds in decline, and much more. Join park staff and volunteers in giving our feathered friends a helping hand. This event has something for everyone, adults and kids alike! Spend a few minutes or the whole afternoon with us. No preregistration required. 
 
Adventures in Birdwatching!
Monday, Feb. 19
Time: 1–3 p.m.
Cost: FREE!
Spend the afternoon learning all about birds and why it is important that we help conserve them. We will go on a bird behavior scavenger hunt, play the migration game and learn how to identify common species on the lake and at the feeder. Participants will make suet and learn other ways to attract birds to their yards. Parent/guardians are welcome to stay for the program or drop-off. Click on the Register Online button to get signed up.