January 2021 will be the 55th count season of the annual International Waterbird Census in the African-Eurasian flyway. The IWC is a vital data source for understanding waterbird population sizes and trends and identifying and conserving their key wintering wetlands. The official dates for the 2021 counts are 16th and 17th January.
Counts should be carried out as close to these dates as possible, especially in Europe to avoid double-counting birds as they respond to cold weather. However counts in your local wetland may be organised on different dates to ensure optimal coverage. Contact your national coordinator for more details about the counts in your country.
With the ongoing and unfolding coronavirus situation, it is important to take whatever additional precautions are necessary. Please be sure to follow the guidance of your national or local officials, the safety of counters and those they come into contact with are of the upmost importance.
If you’re not a bird counter but want to support the census, consider becoming a supporter of the Waterbird Fund. This fund aims to support monitoring of waterbirds and their wetlands around the world. The IWC is a highly cost effective counting effort as many of the counts are completed by volunteers. That means a little support can go a very long way to ensuring wetlands around the world are counted.