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Christmas Bird Count

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When: Dec 31, 2016 from 07:00 am to 05:00 pm

What’s the oldest and grandest tradition in birding? Christmas Bird Counts, of course! All over the Americas, birders will be participating in one-day counts between Dec. 14, 2015 and Jan. 5, 2016. Portland Audubon counters will be heading out Saturday, Jan.31.

Christmas Bird Count 2013 - Tinsley Hunsdorfer
Christmas Bird Counters plan their route through Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge - Tinsley Hunsdorfer

Contact: 971-222-6121
Joe Liebezeit - jliebezeit@audubonportland.org
Candace Larson - clarson@audubonportland.org

The Portland Christmas Bird Count wants YOU…

…to count birds on Saturday, Dec. 31, 2016! Whether spending an entire day in the field or even just an hour watching your bird feeder, you can contribute significantly to our knowledge of bird life in the Portland area — even if you’re a beginning birder. The Audubon Christmas Bird Count is the longest running citizen science project in North America. The results have provided critical information on the status and changes in bird populations over the 116 years it has been conducted. Please help out this year!

Begun in 1900 as an alternative to the traditional hunts of anything that flew during Christmas Day, hundreds of Christmas Bird Counts are now conducted throughout the Western Hemisphere, and they continue to contribute valuable scientific data to the longest existing record of bird population trends. Naturally, everyone likes the idea of contributing to science, but the real reason they’ve exploded in popularity? They’re so much fun!

All over the Americas, birders will be participating in one-day counts between Dec. 14, 2016 and Jan. 5, 2017. This winter, our 91st Portland count will be held on Saturday, Dec. 31. The Audubon Society of Portland conducted its first Christmas Bird Count in 1926. Last year 238 field observers and 116 feeder watchers found 115 species. Those 354 participants made the Portland CBC the largest in the U.S. and second only to Edmonton in the Americas. Please join us this year!

The best way to participate in the Christmas Bird Count is as a field observer. It’s a great way for birders of all levels to enjoy a day outdoors and sharpen their birding skills. You will also have the opportunity to meet others who share your interest in birds, and you’ll discover some good local spots to find birds. The Christmas Bird Count is an excellent way for the amateur birder to advance ornithology. The data are sent to the Laboratory of Ornithology at Cornell University, where over the years Christmas Bird Count records have been used to study changes in bird populations and wintering ranges. A quite amazing bibliography of Christmas Bird Count research and the entire historical record of all Christmas Bird Counts may be found here.

Each Christmas Bird Count attempts to count all the birds in a 15-mile-diameter circle on one given day. 

Contact one of the leaders of the CBC near you (listed below) to sign up. To take part in the CBC Feeder Watch fill out this form.

Area 1 (Columbia Riparian):
Colby Neuman 

Area 2 (Southeast Portland): 
Dan Strong

Area 3 (Lake Oswego): 
Lynn Herring

Area 4 (Beaverton): 
Lori Hennings
503-797-1940 or 503-329-5003

Area 5 (Northwest Hills/Forest Park): 
Joe Liebezeit
971-222-6121 or 503-329-6026

In addition to the Portland count, roughly 50 other counts will be conducted in Oregon and SW Washington during the three weeks surrounding the holidays. A list of counts in NW Oregon and SW Washington can be found here  — and it’ll be updated regularly as counts are added, so check often!

Another way to participate is as a Feeder Watcher. The feeder you watch must be within the 15-mile-diameter CBC circle (please check your location on the detailed CBC Google map; zoom out to view the entire circle, shaded in blue) — but even if you can watch for only an hour, your observations will be helpful. 

More Information

View a summary of the 90‐year history of the count, with details for the last 10 years, and take a look at Christmas Bird Count FAQs.


Northern Pygmy Owl - Scott Carpenter
Northern Pygmy Owl - Scott Carpenter
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