Audubon's Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is the longest running Citizen Science project in the world. Started in 1899 as a way of encouraging people to count birds instead of shoot them, the CBC takes place each year from mid-December to early January when thousands of volunteer birders contribute to the long-term study of early winter bird populations across North America. Count captains in each local area coordinate volunteers for their respective "count circles," and count birds (both number of species and number of individuals) throughout a 24-hour period.
CBC participants range from expert ornithologists to beginning birders, following established protocols to ensure consistent data collection. The data from each count circle is tabulated and submitted to the National Audubon Society, to be used by scientists in a wide variety of studies. To date, more than 200 peer-reviewed articles have resulted from analysis done with Christmas Bird Count data, which has also been used by U.S. Federal agencies as an important basis for making decisions about birds.
We need your help. Please join us for the next CBC and register with a local count coordinator/compiler (see schedule below).