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BYO Question: Is it better to observe in your yard or in a natural area?

Updated: Jun 29, 2023

Just in time for summer, we have a resource to share with you: the Backyard Observer Tip Sheet. We asked observers what questions or challenges they're experiencing when observing. This tip sheet addresses every issue you bought up. You can access the full tip sheet here.

Today we wanted to highlight one of the questions - whether it's better to observe in a natural area or in your own yard.

Answer: We welcome observations from yards and other cultivated spaces as well as from natural areas. The more observations we have from both settings, the better we will be able to understand phenology differences between yards and wild spaces.

The single most important consideration for a site is convenience. The more convenient the site is for you, the more likely you will be to make observations. If a natural area is convenient, observe there. Or observe in your yard if that is more convenient. Wherever you observe, be sure you have permission to make observations there.

Do you have questions about observing and recording your observations? Read through the tip sheet for some handy hints or email your inquiry to

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