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Christmas Bird Count (CBC)

The Audubon Christmas Bird Count has happened every year for over a hundred years. More than 50,000 observers participate each year. The CBC counting method involves a team of at least 10 participants counting within a designated 15-mile diameter circle over a 24 hour period. If you're interested in starting a new counting area, have a look at The Art of the Christmas Bird Count.

According to the CBC Compilers Manual, your counting party can use "Other Transportation" (i.e., other than "By Foot" or "By Car"). If your circle overlaps the Kings River, your team can use canoes or kayaks to float the river routes for the counting.

The remainder of this page consists of information directly from the Audubon Society about submitting a New Count Application.

Want to start a new count in your area? There are now nearly 2000 CBCs in the United States, Canada, Hawaii, the Pacific Islands, the Caribbean, Central and South America, and the more the merrier! In order for you to start a new Christmas Bird Count in your area, the Audubon Society will need the following information as part of the application process:

Once your count is approved, the Audubon Society will require that each field participant on all Christmas Bird Counts pay a participation fee, which is $5.00 per person. This helps defray the cost of production and publication of the annual results summary of the Christmas Bird Count, and without it the Audubon Society would be unable to complete this crucial task. Please make sure that each potential participant understands this fee payment in advance, thus avoiding any misunderstanding about paying to participate on CBCs.

While the Audubon Society looks forward to receiving the packet with the information on your new CBC by the end of September, they often recommend that people run a trial count for a season. This helps ensure that your proposed circle is one you and your participants will be happy with for the future. In running a trial count, unanticipated logistical problems may be discovered, and you can make sure your circle includes the best possible combination of local habitats.

When the Audubon Society receives your application, they will review it and get back to you as soon as possible if there is any problem. If everything is in order, you will automatically receive a compiler's packet when they are sent out mid-Fall.

When you choose to propose your new circle, please send your application by September 30 to:

Audubon Science Office
Attn: Christmas Bird Count - New Count Application
545 Almshouse Road
Ivyland, PA 18974

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