Help collect data in worldwide avian count.

Your family can help tally the population of our feathered friends by participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count.

The annual event, scheduled Feb. 17-20, was started in 1998 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society. According to organizers, it was the first online project that enlisted the public’s help to collect information about wild birds.

Anyone can get involved by creating a free online checklist and recording the numbers and types of birds seen. The minimum commitment is 15 minutes on one day, but participants can count as long or as often as they wish. Information is recorded online in almost real time.

Last year, people in more than 130 countries created more than 162,000 checklists that logged 5,689 species of birds. 

For more information, go to gbbc.birdcount.org.