Birders’ favorite time of year has arrived – the Audubon Christmas Bird Count runs December 14 through January 5! Across the state, North Carolina’s birders and nature enthusiasts will take part in the 118-year tradition of community science, collecting data that will help shape the future of birds and climate science nationwide.
Last year, Audubon volunteers counted 872,508 individual birds of 228 species in 52 count circles across the state. Wilmington had the highest species count at 172. Highlights included several species of warblers inland, record counts of loons at the coast plus a surprising first-ever Brown Booby on the Morehead City count, and the fourth-highest count of Baltimore Orioles for NC at 132. Read a full recap here.
Join the fun!
Here is everything you need to know about the 2018 CBC and how to get involved:
When: December 14-January 5
Where: See our list of Audubon North Carolina chapter-hosted counts below, and a link to additional counts statewide!
Extras: Download the FREE Audubon Bird Guide App.
Get Social: Post photos to Twitter, Instagram and Facebook with #AudubonCBC & @audubonnc
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.
Make plans to join a count in your backyard: Contact our local chapters' circle coordinators to find out the address of the count.
Friday, December 15
- Highlands Plateau (Highlands Plateau Audubon) – Contact: Brock Hutchins at firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, December 16
- Grandfather Mountain (High Country Audubon territory) – Contact: Jesse Pope at email@example.com
- Greensboro (T. Gilbert Pearson Audubon) – Contact: Elizabeth Link at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Raleigh (Wake Audubon) – Contact: John Connors at email@example.com
- Winston-Salem (Forsyth Audubon) – Contact: Ron Morris at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Yancey County/Burnsville – Contact: Russ Oates at 828-682-4199
Saturday, December 23
Charlotte (Mecklenburg Audubon) – Contact: Ken Kneidel at email@example.com
Saturday, December 30
- Wilmington (Cape Fear Audubon) – Contact: Sam Cooper at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, December 31
Jordan Lake (New Hope Audubon) – Contact: Norm Budnitz at email@example.com
Monday, January 1
- Asheville (Elisha Mitchell Audubon) – Contact: Tom Tribble at firstname.lastname@example.org
Don't live near one of these counts or missed your local count? Never fear, there are more counts happening across the state! Find the next count near you at this link - https://www.carolinabirdclub.org/christmas/.
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.
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 community 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 www.christmasbirdcount.org.