The 17th-annual Great Backyard Bird Count kicks off Friday and runs through Monday.
People anywhere in the world can count birds for at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the count and enter their sightings at www.BirdCount.org, according to a news release.
The information gathered by tens of thousands of volunteers helps track the health of bird populations at a scale that would not otherwise be possible.
The 2013 Great Backyard Bird Count shattered records after going global for the first time, thanks to integration with the eBird online checklist program launched in 2002 by the Cornell Lab and Audubon. Participants reported their bird sightings from six continents, including 110 countries and independent territories.
About 34 million birds and 4,258 species were recorded - more than one-third of the world's total bird species documented in just four days.
The Great Backyard Bird Count is a great way for people of all ages and backgrounds to connect with nature and make a difference for birds. It's free and easy, according to the news release.
To learn about how to join the count visit www.birdcount.org and view the winning photos from the 2013 GBBC photo contest.
The GBBC is a joint project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society with partner Bird Studies Canada and is made possible in part by sponsor Wild Birds Unlimited.