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Participate in this year's Great Backyard Bird Count at a Virginia State Park

Juvenile Yellow Crowned Night Heron
Juvenile Yellow Crowned Night Heron at First Landing State Park

Each year in February millions of people count the variety of birds that can be seen and heard in their own backyard. You are invited to  participate in the bird count that takes place February 18-21, 2022.

The Great Backyard Bird Count allows people from all over the world to come together and share their love of birds while celebrating and learning about migration patterns. These observations help scientists better understand global bird populations before one of their annual migrations.

Those interested in participating in this year’s bird count can  find an event or related program at one of several participating parks. State parks that are having an event include:

•    Widewater, Stafford
•    York River, Williamsburg
•    Hungry Mother, Marion
•    First Landing, Virginia Beach
•    Natural Bridge, near Lexington

Widewater State Park Manager Paul Anderson said, “Widewater is a great park to observe the birds due to the diversity of the population in this area. The forest of the park is also diverse and that helps attract a variety of birds.”

Wintertime provides a better view to watch the birds since trees are bare of their foliage.

“Birding clubs, families and people of all ages come out to Widewater because you can easily count over 100 bird types,” Anderson said.

People spend these four days in their favorite places connecting to nature while logging the number of birds that they see or hear nearby. All you need to do is log the birds that you count in a 15-minute period on at least one of the days of the event.

Those who want to participate can download the  Merlin Bird ID app to help identify the birds in your area. If you have previously entered data for or tried Merlin Bird ID and now want to enter more birds, it’s recommend you use the  eBird Mobile app to enter your bird sightings.

Your participation matters and your bird count contributes to a global study that helps protects bird populations all over the world. The Great Backyard Bird Count is a great way to connect with birds, nature and each other.

Visit for more information about upcoming events at a state park.