Join in the Great Backyard Bird Count February 12-15!

February is Backyard Bird month and people all over the world are helping to count birds! Here at the Randall we’re counting birds too. We’ll show you how to participate and what to look for, plus we have fun activities for you to do at home.

Simply get outside and look for birds

Birds are a source of wonder for humans.

Humans owe a lot to these beautiful creatures! Their antics, gorgeous colors and their ability to fly has inspired art, stories and legends and brought joy to many people. But that is not all birds have given us. Much of our food depends on pollinators. Some birds, like hummingbirds, are a major source of pollination services. Scavenger birds, like the turkey vulture and the raven, prevent diseases by cleaning up dead carcasses in the wild. Pest control is another benefit we gain from birds. Predators, like hawks, keep rats and mice in check. Fly catchers eat pesky insects. So let’s protect our feathered friends – it’s good for us and it’s good for them!

Go into your backyard or local park and try to identify birds that you see.

Raven Illustration
Great Horned Owl

Watch birds and record what you see

Practice being an ornithologist: someone who studies birds!

Go into your backyard or local park and try to identify birds that you see. Be scientific about your observations. Plan to spend at least 15 minutes outside. 

Get to know your local birds.

Meet your local birds!

Here is a list of some of the likely visitors to your backyards and parks. Download and use our guide to get to know some common birds you may see. Try these activities to learn more about Anna’s Hummingbird, a common visitor at the Museum. Did you know that Corona Heights, the home of the Randall Museum, is one of the best places in San Francisco to see many types of birds?

Download this special edition Randall Museum poster BIRDS: Wild in California.

4 Bird Photo Montage
Photo of Dom Mosur on a bird hike

Watch our resident birder as he takes you along on a short bird hike

Grab your binoculars and lace up your shoes!

You can find birds anywhere. We encourage you to go in your backyard or head out to a local park. You can do this by yourself, or with a family member, or a friend. Remember to stay 6 feet apart and wear a mask while birding with others.

Join Dom, the Randall Museum’s ornithologist, as he teaches you some simple tips to find birds. 

Participate with people all over the world in the Great Backyard Bird Count

Go Citizen Science!

Find out how you can join people from all over the world to help count birds. Go to to learn how to log your sightings into an international database.

Simply watch birds for 15 minutes or more, at least once over the four days, February 12-15, 2021, and record what you see!

Children Counting Birds
2 Bird Artwork Image

Draw, color and craft your own birds with our teachers

Bird Arts & Crafts!

Want to use your inspirations from birds to make something? Let’s make some bird art with our Randall Museum teachers, Amy and Sarah.

Show us what you saw

What birds have you counted?

Share your backyard bird photos with us on social media! We are @randallmuseum on Instagram & Facebook

Tag your photos with @randallmuseum #greatbackyardbirdcount #backyardbirds #citizenscience #birding.

Birdwatching at Randall
Birder Offering More Resources
Randall Naturalists Using Binoculars

Extra resources, for even more information

There is so much great information online if you want to go deeper into backyard birding! There are sites that explain why it matters and PDFs to share. There are articles about the benefits of attracting birds. There are simple ideas about what YOU can do to help. Make sure you always offer fresh food and clean water for your backyard friends. There are sites about how to attract birds to your backyard – here are three helpful guides from Cornell University’s special bird lab:

Book List for Backyard Birds – Created by our friends at Folio Books in San Francisco.

Visit iNaturalist for more images of Common Birds of SF Bay Area.

CREDIT: Bird artwork by Lucy Conklin.
Photo Credits: Maria Durana, Sarah Lynn Bowser
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