*** Due to the extended period of online learning, the Winter Bird Count has been extended until January 25th. Keep counting! ***

The Winter Bird Count is an eight-day event that engages students of all ages. It creates a real-time snapshot of the birds that live here in the winter, showing us how many there are and where they live.

Anyone can participate, from beginners to experts. You can count for as little as 15 minutes on a single day, or for as long as you like each day of the event. It’s free, fun and easy – and it helps the birds!

The Winter Bird Count is modelled after the Christmas Bird Count, an annual event that has been organized for over 100 years. The Christmas Bird Count runs in late December and early January, sponsored by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Audubon and Birds Canada. For many migratory species that breed in the far north of Canada, this type of count is the only way to track changes in their population.  Check out this page for a history of the Christmas Bird Count.


WHO: Anyone!  You don’t have to be a bird expert to help. Just do your best!

WHAT: We need students to help us count the numbers and varieties of birds that live in our community.

WHERE: Anywhere in Waterloo Region. You can send us observations from your backyard, porch, balcony, favourite walking trail, wherever!

WHEN: December 16 to the January 23.

HOW: Take our bird identification sheet outside.  Observe birds for 15 minutes or more. Use binoculars if you have them. Record what you see and send us the results using our Google Form.  See this page for full instructions.



See results live on our Results page.  Share pictures via Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. #WRDSBwinterbirds


To help prepare students for this fun activity, the Outdoor and Environmental Education Department has prepared a few resources for our students. Below are suggestions that will help make the count a success for all.  For more print resources, visit our Print Resources Page.


Printable Tally Sheet


Video Resources:



WRDSB Backyard Bird Count Bird List April 2020
Merlin Bird ID app
Audubon Bird ID app
Seek app
Christmas Bird Count

BIRDS Q&A LIVE – December 11th

To kick-off the count on December 11th, the Outdoor and Environmental Education Department will be hosting a BIRDS Q&A Live broadcast. Students are invited to send us their best bird questions. We will answer as many as we can live on YouTube. We will also have our of our team in the chat answering questions as quickly as we can.  Stay tuned for more details!


If you are a teacher, check out our Teacher Resources page for tips and tricks to run a bird count with your class.

If you have any problems preparing for the count or difficulty submitting your observations, please contact us directly by email.