Christmas Bird Count 2023

Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is set for Dec. 16, 2023

Redbud Audubon Society will carry out its annual Christmas Bird Count (CBC) on Saturday, Dec. 16. (CBC) is a traditional project of Audubon societies around the country. Former participants will be sent information about meeting times and places by the count organizers, Brad and Kathy Barnwell; the public is also welcome to participate and can do so by emailing Redbud Audubon at for more information.

On the day of the count, participants will meet at 5 p.m. at Kelseyville Pizza for the final tally. Pizza is provided by Redbud and all who participate are welcome to attend.

Previous to the bird count, on Thursday, Dec. 14 starting at 7 p.m. Donna Mackiewicz will host a Zoom Bird Identification program. This will be an extensive slide show featuring birds that are often seen on the annual count and birds that are common to Lake County. The program emphasizes the field characteristics of the common and some not-so-common birds here. The Zoom registration will be in the December Western Grebe newsletter. Please note the bird ID program is being held a week earlier than our usual programs because of the date of the CBC.

National Audubon has been holding a Christmas Bird Count for 124 years.  The official count period usually starts around the middle of December and ends the first week of January. Local Audubon Societies can decide what day they conduct their counts within this time frame. Every individual bird and species encountered during the day is recorded. Each count group has a designated circle of 15 miles in diameter and tries to cover as much ground as possible within a certain period of time.

History of the Christmas Bird Count

Each December birders gather to record every individual bird and species encountered during the day. Each count group has a designated circle of 15 miles in diameter and tries to cover as much ground as possible within a certain period of time.

The Christmas Bird Count began more than a century ago when 27 conservationists in 25 localities, led by scientist and writer Frank Chapman, changed the course of ornithological history.

On Christmas Day in 1900, the small group posed an alternative to the “side hunt,” a Christmas day activity in which teams competed to see who could shoot the most birds and small mammals. Instead, Chapman proposed to identify, count, and record all the birds they saw, founding what is now considered to be the world’s most significant citizen-based conservation effort – and century-old institution.

Scientists rely on the remarkable trend data of Audubon’s CBC to better understand how birds and the environment are faring throughout North America – and what needs to be done to protect them. Data from Audubon’s signature Citizen Science program are at the heart of numerous peer-reviewed scientific studies.

With all of the issues, including climate change and habitat loss, facing both local bird species and birds worldwide, there is no time like the present to start getting involved in local bird conservation and educating yourself about the numerous bird species we have right here in Lake County; the annual Christmas Bird Count is a fun way of doing this.

The data collected by each count group are then sent to the National Audubon Headquarters in New York and is made available online.

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