Christmas Bird Count


They're Baaack -- Christmas Bird Counts

by Pomera M. Fronce
From an article in "The Pelican"
(Great Salt Lake Audubon Newsletter)

etween December 14, 2015 and January 5, 2016, scores of volunteer birders and nature enthusiasts will take part in the longest running wildlife census on the planet. The annual Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is organized by the National Audubon Society and the data compiled are used to track the health of bird populations at a scale that professional scientists could never accomplish alone. CBCs are not just about counting birds. The data collected are at the heart of hundreds of peer-reviewed scientific studies and contribute to decisions made by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior and the EPA.

While the ultimate goal of participating in a count is to tally a representative sample of the birds, the natural competitive spirit of birders is what drives them to do the most thorough job possible. CBCs have become a treasured holiday tradition, a reunion with birding friends and a way to play a small part in a big conservation picture. The growing combined pool of contributed sightings helps researchers understand how birds are faring in a way that ornithologist, Frank Chapman, could never have conceived of back in 1900 when he organized a small band of twenty-seven dedicated birders to conduct the first-ever CBC!

This event is free and is open to birders of all skill levels. If you are a beginner, you will be able to join a team that includes experienced birders. If you are unable to join a field team and you live within the boundaries of a count circle, you can make arrangements with the coordinator to stay home and report the birds that visit your feeders.

Information on over thirty counts held in Utah can be found at

Visit the NAS website,, for a wealth of information on CBCs.