Northern New York Audubon participates in Christmas Bird Counts (CBC), a citizen science project organized by the National Audubon Society. From December 14 through January 5 volunteers across the country help get a snap shot of the bird population. The first CBC was in 1900 and was the idea of ornithologist Frank Chapman. There were 25 counts done that first year. In recent years the number of counts has been over 1,800. Six circles are in the Northern New York region and we encourage members and non-members alike to participate in the Christmas Bird Counts. No experience is necessary and it is a great way to get out and enjoy the outdoors during the holidays. For more information, view our CBC FAQ’s below.
Audubon’s Annual Christmas Bird Count
Compiler: Michael B. Burgess
Phone: (518) 564-5277
Details: The count is centered near the Plattsburgh International airport, and the circle includes a portion of the western shoreline of Grand Isle, VT, plus numerous exceptional birding hot spots, including Ausable Marsh Wildlife Management Area, extensive shoreline, Cumberland Head, and numerous wetland and agricultural habitats.
Saranac Lake, NY
Compiler: Steve Langdon
Details: Centered in Ray Brook, this count includes the villages of Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, and Bloomingdale. New participants are welcome and past participants should indicate their willingness to cover the same territory as the past, or interest in covering a different territory. Shortly before count day a list of territories and maps, based on confirmed participation, will be emailed. The Saranac Lake CBC is centered in Ray Brook and includes the villages of Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, and Bloomingdale.
Christmas Bird Count FAQ’s
The Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is a program of the National Audubon Society that has been conducted for over 100 years. Utilizing citizen science, this bird count is a census conducted every winter, early in the season. Thousands of volunteers across the US, Canada and many countries in the Western Hemisphere cover specific territories over a 24 hour period to count species which are submitted to the National Audubon Society for a long-term analysis of habitat.
To patrol a region within a count circle, contact the compiler for that area. They will assign you a location that needs coverage.
To participate from home, ensure you are located within a count circle. Simply contact the compiler for your region and make arrangements to watch your yard and bird feeder for the day of the count.
In 2012 the National Audubon Society made the Christmas Bird Count free to allow it to be accessible to all citizen scientists. The program is funded 100% by donations. To help support the CBC, please visit the National Audubon Society’s Support Page.
Anyone can participate! If you are a beginner birder, let the compiler know and they will pair you up with a birder that can help you with identification.