Friday through Monday, Feb. 15–18, 2019

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

Counting is for the Birds
Monday, Feb. 18
Time: 10–11 a.m.
For all ages
Cost: FREE!
Join Blue Jay staff to hear a bird story (or two), try a fun bird activity (or three) and count how many different kinds of birds we can see from Blue Jay's front porch as part of the Great Backyard Bird Count on Monday morning. Older kids will hike "further afield" to expand our bird count numbers, while the peewees and their grown-ups make bird treats to take home. This family program for parents and children of all ages is FREE, but preregistration is required!

Harris Lake County Park

Introduction to Bird Watching
Friday, Feb. 15
Time: 4:30–6 p.m.
For all ages (best for older than 4)
Cost: FREE!
Meet at the Longleaf Shelter.
Discover tips and techniques to identify birds as we introduce you to the rewarding hobby of bird watching through fun activities. Learn how to participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count and hike along the shoreline to practice your new skills as we count the birds. All participants attending must be registered through this online system. Space is limited to provide a safe quality program. Children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult. Dress for the weather and bring binoculars, bird ID book (or borrow ours) and water.
 
Morning Bird Walks
Saturday, Feb. 17 and Monday, Feb. 18
Time: 8:30–10 a.m.
For ages 4 and up
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. All participants attending must be registered through this online system. Space is limited to provide a safe quality program. Children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult. Dress for the weather and bring binoculars, bird ID book (or borrow ours) and water.
 
Evening Adventure
Sunday, Feb. 17
Time: 5:30–7:30 p.m.
For all ages
Cost: FREE!
Meet at the Loblolly Shelter.
Owls are actively calling to claim or protect their territory this time of year. Other birds are settling down for the night. Walk with us along the trails and ponds to discover birds and other cool nature out at night. All participants attending must be registered through this online system. Space is limited to provide a safe quality program. Children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult. Dress for the weather and bring binoculars, bird ID book (or borrow ours) and water.
  
Wacky Woodpeckers
Monday, Feb. 18
Time: 10:30 a.m.–noon
For all ages
Cost: FREE!
Meet at the Cypress Shelter.
Woodpeckers are some of the most recognizable birds as they grip the side of a tree, pecking a hole or looking for food, but how much do you really know about them? Learn some cool woodpecker facts, hear common woodpecker calls, make a suet log for your family to take home and go on a short hike to look and listen for them around the park. All participants attending must be registered through this online system. Space is limited to provide a safe quality program. Children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult. Dress for the weather and bring binoculars, bird ID book (or borrow ours) and water.

The American Tobacco Trail

Bird Walk along the American Tobacco Trail
Friday, Feb. 15
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. Meet near the restrooms at the New Hill Parking Area. 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. 15–18
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.
 
Breakfast with the Birds
Saturday, Feb. 16
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. 17
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
MondayWednesday, Feb. 18–20
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.
 
Build a Bluebird House
Monday, Feb. 18
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. We have ten boxes available on a first come, first serve basis. Note that we will only allow one box per family. Registration is required for one family member. Children must have adult accompaniment.
 

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.
 
Kids Get Crafty: Bird Bonanza
Monday, Feb. 19
11 a.m.–noon
For all ages
Cost: FREE!
Birds come in different shapes, sizes and patterns! Stop by to create a "bird." We will bring the materials if you bring the imagination! For all ages (adult accompaniment required for all children); FREE. Registration is not required.
 

Lake Crabtree County Park

 
Bird Walks
Friday, Feb. 15, Saturday, Feb. 16, Sunday, Feb. 17, and Monday, Feb. 18
Time: 8:30–10 a.m.
Cost: All are FREE!
Join park staff in collecting data for the 22nd 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.

The Eagles Have Landed!
Sunday, Feb. 17
Time: 1–3 p.m.
Cost: FREE!
Eagles are often seen around Lake Crabtree County Park. From 2003 to 2011, they even nested here! This year a new nest was discovered, and we are hoping to have an active nesting season this winter. Join park staff to learn more about this amazing bird, and observe the nest yourself. We will look for eagles and other birds that frequent the mudflat area of the lake. We will be driving to a location outside the main area of the park for the second half of the program. Carpooling options will be available.
 
Adventures in Birdwatching!
Monday, Feb. 18
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.