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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

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 not counts of those species. While it is easy to detect and identify a calling crickets or katydids it is just too difficult to count how many of individuals of each are calling. Just a note here that we will repeat elsewhere, a lot of the insect sounds you hear outside are the many kinds of ground and tree crickets (which we are not asking you to count), usually there will be some of the target species at each place, but don't think that for this count you have to ID every sound....however, if you become passionate or obsessed and want to go further with your IDs the cricket sound websites we link to have the ground and tree crickets sounds also.

Some Pointers for Listening

Most of the calls are quite distinctive and you will know the identity of the caller(s) right away. However, if there is a lot of background chirping going on by noisy tree crickets or other insects, it might take a little more effort to hear the quieter katydids, such as the Fork-tailed Katydid. In this case sometimes it helps to listen for just one call at a time - focusing your listening on one pattern until you've determined whether or not that particular insect is present, and then moving on to the next call pattern.

Katydids are not Optional

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


What Species to Count?

We have a species page for the 7 species of crickets and katydids and crickets with links to their calls and pictures.

When do I Count?

The night of September 11th after 7:45 p.m. when it becomes completely dark. If it looks like it will be too rainy or cold it will be moved to September 12th (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 NYC region. HOWEVER, we are particularly interested in looking at areas where people live and parklands, undeveloped, and neglected areas. So, if you can, our preference would be to have you pair your counts:

How to Set up a Paired Count:

Find a safe place to count in or at the edge of a park or any undeveloped land and then walk 200 meters away (let's call that about 2 city blocks) within the surrounding human landscape and set up a second count.

Paired counts are not a requirement for participation and you could easily do 50 counts during the night by using your car and driving around the region putting in as many points as possible and that would be fine; great as a matter of fact. We are interested in all counts from any location in the NYC area.

How do I indicate to you Guys Where each of my Counts Was Located?

Well, a latitude/longitude from a gps recorder would be great, but a street intersection or a house address will work too.

How do I Send in the Data?

Our preference is that you 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 (646-462-4073 x 01220) and leave a message or, you can email your results, photos, etc. to this (

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 latitude and longitude from a gps unit, but a 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.

"...and though the holes were rather small, they had to count them all..." - A day in the life. Sargent Peppers. Beatles

Crickets are not Optional

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


Send in pictures of you or your team doing your count. You can email them to the coming soon account and we will put them up on the web.

Send in any sound files of cricket and katydids taken during your count or of species that you can’t figure out and want us to determine.

Did something interesting happen to you while doing the count? Call, text, or email it in and we will add it to the documentation and story of the count.

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