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.
Date: December 20, 2020
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. Due to Covid-19, the following restrictions will be instituted: no in-person compilation gathering (replaced by a virtual gathering on ZOOM), social distancing and/or mask wearing are required at all times in the field, and carpooling may only occur with spouses/partners or other live-in relations (i.e., no carpooling with friends).
Saranac Lake, NY
Date: January 2, 2020
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 your 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. No count dinner is planned this year due to Covid, but a Zoom gathering is likely. The Saranac Lake CBC is centered in Ray Brook and includes the villages of Lake Placid, Saranac Lake and Bloomingdale.
Massena, NY – Cornwall, ON
Date: December 27, 2020
Compiler: Eileen Wheeler
Phone: (315) 386-2482
Details: We welcome you to the Massena portion of the Massena – Cornwall CBC. A little more than half the circle is on the US side of the border. No gathering is planned this year due to Covid.
Christmas Bird Count FAQ’s
What is the Christmas Bird Count
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.
How Can I Participate?
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.
How Much Does It Cost To Participate?
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.
Can I Participate If I Am A Beginner Birder?
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.