We offer easy online registration. CLICK HERE to sign up!
When is it?
- The next Ann Arbor Christmas Bird Count is on Saturday, December 21, 2019
What do I need to know?
- The Ann Arbor Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is sponsored by the Washtenaw Audubon Society, and it is open to birders of all skill levels.
- Ann Arbor's CBC is held as part of a continent-wide effort, coordinated by the National Audubon Society.
- About 1700 CBC's are conducted across the continent each year within a window of two and a half weeks. Each count covers a circular area of 15 miles in diameter. The object is to identify and count both the species of birds within the circle, and the numbers of individuals within each species.
- The data collected from each CBC, along with the names of all participants is published each year by the National Audubon Society.
- The Christmas Bird Count is the longest running ornithological database. As we approach the count's centennial, it continues to grow in importance as a means to monitor the status of resident and migratory bird populations across the western hemisphere. The count is 100% volunteer generated data that, over the years, has become a crucial part of the national U.S. database. More information is on the National Audubon Society website.
How much does it cost?
- It's free! As of the 2012 count season, the National Audubon Society no longer collects $5 from each participant. This is in conjunction with publishing the results in an online format instead of paper volumes. Note that you may still donate to support the Christmas Bird Count. Sign up for the citizen science eNewsletter to get American Birds Online, including Christmas Bird Count results.
How can I participate?
- Be a field observer: Field observers spend the day (or part of it) outside, working on covering an area. In addition to the daylight census of birds, several groups of observers will conduct a pre-dawn search for owls. The Ann Arbor CBC is divided into eight sub-regions, each of which is covered by an area leader assigned to coordinating the census in that region. Contact an area leader (shown to the right) to participate in that area (see links to maps on this page), or contact the Count Compilerto be assigned based on need.
- Be a feeder watcher: If you have a bird feeder within the count circle, this is a fun and easy way to participate. Feeder watchers can participate for any length of time; from one hour to all day. NOTE: Your feeder must be within the count circle for us to be able to accept your data! Contact the Feederwatch Coordinator to particpate in this fun way! Note that data from feeders outside the count circle can not be collected, so please check the maps (links on this page) to be sure your feeder is within the defined area. A feeder watch form will be added soon!
What happens at the end of the day?
- We have a fun potluck dinner get-together where we eat, enjoy each other's company, tell tales of our day in the field, and officially report all the numbers to the Count Compiler.
- The Potluck and Tally begins at 5:00pm in the auditorium of the University of Michigan’s Matthaei Botanical Gardens, 1800 North Dixboro Road in Ann Arbor.
- If you register for the count using the sign-up form above, you may indicate if you are attending the potluck, how many persons are with you, and what you are bringing. This helps organize and diversify the potluck contributions. If you did not use our form, or did not indicate whether you are coming (and you are), then please contact the Potluck Coordinator.
Who can I contact to participate or if I have questions?
- Contact the Count Compiler if you have questions or if you want to be assigned to an area based on need.
- Contact the Feederwatch Coordinator to sign up to watch your feeder. Your feeder must be within the count circle!
- Contact the Potluck Coordinator if you plan to attend the post-count dinner and compilation.
- Contact an Area Leader to as about a specific area.