Birding and Bird Watching

116 Years and Growing

Help Count Birds for Citizen Science

The temperatures are cooling down but winter birding is heating up. Birders’ favorite time of year has arrived – the Christmas Bird Count begins Monday, December 14! Across the state, North Carolina’s birders and nature enthusiasts will take part in the 116-year tradition of citizen science, collecting data that will help shape the future of birds and climate science nationwide.

Join the fun!

Here is everything you need to know about the 2015 CBC and how to get involved:

What: 116th Annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count

When: December 14-January 5

Where: Register for a local circle

Extras: Download the FREE Audubon Bird Guide App.

Get Involved

North Carolina is hosting 52 counts across our state including two new circles - Yancey County and Pilot Mountain have joined the CBC this year. Click here to find a count near and register to participate.

 Birders of all ages are welcome to participate in this fun, nationwide citizen science project, which provides the National Audubon Society and other bird conservation organizations with a crucial snapshot of our native bird populations during the winter months.  Each individual count is performed in a count circle with a diameter of 15 miles. At least ten volunteers, including a compiler to coordinate the process, count in each circle. The volunteers break up into small parties and follow assigned routes counting every bird they see.

The Power of the Flock

The CBC is a great example of the power of Audubon’s extended network. Today, participation is even more important than it was over 100 years ago when the count was started as an alternative to holiday shooting contests.

Every year, N.C. ranks as a top performing state submitting data. During last year’s CBC, our circles collected the most tallies of any state for 15 individual species. Among the most important species recorded in N.C. was the endangered Red Knot. CBC participants recorded 1,600 Red Knots along the coast including more than 1,200 at Ocracoke Island. 

As Audubon continues to document the effects of climate change on birds, the data collected by CBC participants will pave the way for Audubon’s work with state and local lawmakers to develop and enact legislation in NC that protects our birds and our communities in the coming years. We encourage anyone interested in birding, bird conservation, the outdoors or just having fun to find a nearby count and get involved.

The Audubon Christmas Bird Count is a citizen science project organized by the National Audubon Society. There is no fee to participate. Counts are open to birders of all skill levels and Audubon’s free Bird Guide app makes easy to identify birds.

For more information and to find a count near you visit

How you can help, right now