The Great Backyard Bird Count on Family Day at HCP

HCP is delighted to be holding a Great Backyard Bird Count for our Family Day Event at the Gardens at HCP together with the Rocky Point Bird Observatory  ( which is celebrating their 30th anniversary this year.

Started in 1994 on the grounds of the Department of Defence Rocky Point Ammunition Depot in Metchosin where the unique geography and mixed forest attract migrant and vagrant bird species.  Rocky Point Bird Observatory is a member of the Canadian Migration Monitoring Network (CMMN). Monitoring runs from mid-July through October; over 300 species have been recorded and approximately 6000 birds  are banded each year.  In addition, RPBO monitors breeding birds, nocturnal owls and hummingbirds.


Monitoring birds is an essential part of protecting them. But tracking the health of the 10,000 bird species in the world is an immense challenge. Scientists need hundreds of thousands of people to report what they are seeing in backyards, neighbourhoods, and wild places around the world. Whether you want to participate once a year or once a day, here are a few of our favorite projects to get involved with:

The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is a joint citizen science project of Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the National Audubon Society, Birds Canada and Wild Birds Unlimited.  It is a world wide program of bird watching that occurs each February. It began in 1997.

Participating is easy, fun to do alone or with others, and can be done anywhere you find birds. Count birds for as little as 15 minutes (or longer if you wish) on one or more of the days of the event which runs from February 16 through 19, 2024.

Step 1: Decide where you will watch birds.

Step 2: Watch birds for 15 minutes or more, at least once over the four days, February 16–19, 2024.

Step 3: Identify all the birds you see or hear within your planned time/location and use the best tool for sharing your bird sightings:

There are two apps from Cornell Lab or Ornithology that you might want to try

  • Merlin Bird ID (iPhone) for identifying birds by sight or sound
  • eBird Mobile (iPhone and iPad) to record the birds you see and share the information with Cornell;

Step 4: Report your findings, using eBird or login. You will need to register with Cornell.

Hint for exploring eBird; Victoria and the Peninsula are listed under the Region of Capital District, British Columbia, using the Map is somewhat easier.

Image: "Heronscape" courtesy of Terry Venables, Sidney BC (An avid bird watcher and photographer)

Image: "Heronscape" courtesy of Terry Venables, Sidney BC (An avid bird watcher and photographer)