Indiana Bird Counts

Indiana Official Bird Counts

The Indiana Audubon Society sponsors and helps host several bird counts over the course of a year.  Each count has it’s own protocol and data sheets.  IAS Members are encouraged to participate and assist in these great citizen science opportunities.  Some counts are organized by partner organizations and information can be found on their count pages.  To download the the Indiana Audubon state birding checklist, click here.


Coopers Hawk by Mark Welter

Coopers Hawk by Mark Welter

IAS members can participate  in one of the annual Christmas Bird Counts, sponsored by the National Audubon Society.  Indiana data is collected additionally for publication in the Indiana Audubon Quarterly, submitted by the state compiler.  Count dates depend on compilers submitting info, so if a count is missing, please let us know.  Find out more about the Christmas Bird Counts.


Northern Cardinal by Mike Timmons.

The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is a free, fun, and easy event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of bird populations. Participants are asked to count birds for as little as 15 minutes (or as long as they wish) on one or more days of the four-day event and report their sightings online at Anyone can take part in the Great Backyard Bird Count, from beginning bird watchers to experts, and you can participate from your backyard, or anywhere in the world.

Each checklist submitted during the GBBC helps researchers at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society learn more about how birds are doing, and how to protect them and the environment we share. Last year, more than 160,000 participants submitted their bird observations online, creating the largest instantaneous snapshot of global bird populations ever recorded.

The 22nd annual GBBC will be held Friday, February 15, through Monday, February 18, 2019. Please visit the official website at for more information and be sure to check out the latest educational and promotional resources.

GLOBAL BIG DAY COUNT (formerly May Day Count)

Ruby-throated Hummingbird by Mike Timmons
Ruby-throated Hummingbird by Mike Timmons

After careful thought and discussion, the Indiana Audubon Society (IAS) has decided to end the annual Big May Day Bird Count, held formally on the second Saturday in May. Over the last 27 years, the count has averaged less than 50% participation of the counties submitting data and individual participation has seen a study decline over the years; averaging over a hundred less counters from the first 14 years to the last 13 years through 2019.

However, the BMDBC will merge with the popular Global Big Day to continue counting the birds the first weekend of May.  Learn more about the changes and what’s in store.

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