Christmas Bird Count

Red-bellied woodpecker photo courtesy of Allen Blake Sheldon
Krysten Strong
Mississippi Valley Conservancy

Birders Take to the Streets for the 120th Christmas Bird Count!

Each year between December 14th and January 5th, bird watchers from all over the country become citizen scientists and participate in the National Audubon Society’s Christmas Bird Count (CBC). The CBC is an early-winter annual census where thousands of volunteers across the United States, Canada, and more, spend a day looking and listening for birds.

Localities across the United States are divided into 15-mile diameter bird count “circles” with designated routes of travel. In each “circle” teams of birders join together to travel these routes to record all birds seen and heard.

Data collected from these counts is compiled by the National Audubon Society and is used by researchers, conservation biologists, wildlife agencies, and other interested individuals to help in monitoring trends in bird populations. These data are also available online for all who have a curiosity.

There are dozens of CBC “circles” in Wisconsin, including ones in Trempealeau, La Crosse, La Farge, Cassville, Fennimore, Kickapoo Valley, and more.

If you are interested in participating in one or more of your local Christmas Bird Counts, you can find contact information for count organizers and the dates for “circles” near you at:

Photo of red-bellied woodpecker courtesy of Allen Blake Sheldon. All rights reserved.