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How to Do the Count


  1. Go somewhere at night
  2. Listen for 1 minute
  3. Write down the kinds of crickets and katydids you heard
  4. Call,text, email or tweet it to us!
Cricket Crawl | Top | Instructions | Downloadable Data Form | Discover Life

Details and FAQs

So, I am not Going to Actually Count Individual Crickets and Katydids?

Yes, that is correct, we are just asking for a list of species that you hear not counts of those species. While it is easy to detect and identify calling crickets or katydids it is just too difficult to count how many individuals of each are calling. You will hear many different insects calling in the evening but you only need to listen for the 6 species.

What Species to Count?

We have a species page for the 6 species of crickets and katydids and crickets with links to their calls and pictures. You can download the calls for use on an iphone or droid here.

When do I Count?

The night of August 25th after 8:15 p.m. when it becomes completely dark. If it looks like it will be too rainy or cold it will be moved to August 26th (We will put up a “go” or “no go” message on the web site). The end of the counting time period will be midnight.

How Many Places do I Count?

As many as you like (within the proper counting hours).

Where do I Count?

Crickets and Katydids exist and call everywhere. And so you can also count them anywhere in the greater DC/Baltimore region, including Northern Virginia. HOWEVER, we are particularly interested in looking at areas where people live and parklands, undeveloped, and neglected areas as well as urban areas. You can sample along a transect that runs through both urban and suburban or rural areas. Natural transects occur along roads and subway lines.

How do I Send in the Data?

Send in your data from your cell phone outside immediately after you do your count. We hope to have the results go live during the night.

You can call this number (240) 801-6878 and leave a voice message.

You can text your observations to this number (240) 801-6878

You can email your results, photos, etc. to

Send us a tweet of your observations @speciesobs

What Information do I Include for Each Count When I Send it In?

  • Your name (let us know if you do not want your name listed with the public data)
  • The location of your count (be specific, best is street address with city, state, zip is good, or an intersection of 2 roads, or some notion of how far you are down a particular road so that we can locate you on the map)
  • List of Species (or species groups) you detected on that count
  • Start Time of the Count
  • A story or observation that you think people might like to know about, think Kafka, Faulkner, Proust, that sort of thing.

Exactly How do I do This Count Once I Reach a Good Counting Spot?

  • Bring along a copy of our field sheet which has an abbreviated list of the instructions presented here, and a list of the species, cell phone, watch, and pencil.
  • Listen for one minute and check off all the species you hear.
  • After the minute is up you can walk over to the spot where you heard species you weren't sure of to double check your initial impressions.
  • Call or send in your data.
  • Pat yourself on the back.
  • Go to your Next Survey Point.

Cricket Crawl | Top | Instructions | Downloadable Data Form | Discover Life