The 20th Annual Great Backyard Bird Count and Where to Bird Watch on Long Island

Have some educational fun this winter, and be a part of scientific research, by participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count!

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Get out your binoculars and start counting the birds you see for the Great Backyard Bird Count!

Photo by: born1945 via Wikimedia Commons under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

This year, from February 17th - February 20th, the Great Backyard Bird Count will be taking place! The Great Backyard Bird Count was created almost 20 years ago by both the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and the National Audubon Society, to have the public collect data about different bird species. That data that is collected by the public then goes straight to the scientists and researchers who monitor bird populations! 
 
All are invited to participate in this worldwide event, and doing so is easy! Participants must simply count the kinds and numbers of birds they see for at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the count. Then, once done tallying and identifying, make an account on their website and report your findings. It’s as simple as that and participants can feel pride in the fact that they’ve helped aid in scientific research!
 
While you can conveniently count birds right in your own backyard, you can also count birds anywhere you’d like! Here on Long Island there are many different places you can go to bird watch and do your part in The Great Backyard Bird Watch. Take a look below at some upcoming events that provide great opportunities for spotting birds, and birding destinations on the Island!
 
Great South Bay Audubon Society "Falconry on LI" at Connetquot River State Park Preserve
Sunrise Highway, Oakdale, NY 11769
Thursday, February 16th from 7 PM - 9:30 PM
631-563-7716
Free Event
Meet Chris Paparo and his Red-tailed Hawk as they speak about Falconry on Long island, the instincts of raptors, training and more!
 
The Great Backyard Bird Count Walk at William Floyd Estate
245 Park Drive, Mastic Beach, NY 11951
Saturday, February 18th from 9 AM - 12 PM
631-399-2030
Free Event
Identify and record the various birds as you encounter while participating in this 3 mile long walk (round trip) on the William Floyd Estate.
 
Winter Birding Basics For Kids at Fire Island Wilderness Center
Fire Island National Seashore, County Rd 46, Shirley, NY 11967
Saturday, February 18th from 1 PM - 2:30 PM
631-687-4780 (weekdays) 631-281-3010 (weekends)
Free Event
Kids ages 8-12 are welcome to come and learn the basics of bird watching from a park ranger, learn how to use binoculars, and then do some barrier beach bird watching!
 
Citizen Science Birding eBird & GBBC at Fire Island Lighthouse
1 Burma Road, Bay Shore, NY 11706
Sunday, February 19th from 2 PM - 4 PM
631-281-3010
Free Event
Lend a helping hand to Science by documenting and reporting the birds you see around the Fire Island Lighthouse!
 
Old Mastic Bird Walk at William Floyd Estate
245 Park Drive, Mastic Beach, NY 11951
Saturday, March 11th from 9 AM - 11:30 PM
631-399-2030
Free Event
Bring along your binoculars for this round trip three mile walk where you'll encounter various bird species found in habitats ranging from woods to creeks, fields to marsh.
 
Earth Day Is For The Birds at Sweetbriar Nature Center
62 Eckernkamp Drive, Smithtown, NY 11787
Monday, April 17th from 1 PM - 3 PM
631-979-6344
$5 Per Adult; $10 Per Child
Meet some of the resident birds of Sweetbriar, learn about what you can do to make the lives of birds better and easier, and take home a bird feeder at this bird centered event.
 
Great Places To See Birds On Long Island
 
Bayard Cutting Arboretum State Park
440 Montauk Hwy, Great River, NY 11739
631-581-1002
 
Elizabeth A. Morton National Wildlife Refuge
2595 Noyac Rd, Sag Harbor, NY 11963
631-725-7598
 
Muttontown Preserve
Jericho-Oyster Bay Road, East Norwich, NY 11732
516-571-8500
 
Planting Fields Arboretum
1395 Planting Fields Rd, Oyster Bay, NY 11771
516-922-9210
 
Sweetbriar Nature Center
62 Eckernkamp Drive, Smithtown, NY 117787
631-979-6344
 
Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary and Audubon Center
134 Cove Road, Oyster Bay, NY 11771
516-922-3200
 
In addition to the places listed above, hiking trails, state parks, and beaches are also great places to do some bird watching!