News & Features

The 116th Christmas Bird Count in Vermont

Pine Siskins in Winter. Photo by K.P. McFarland

The 116th Christmas Bird Count will take place from December 14  through January 5. This is perhaps the longest running citizen science project in Vermont. Each count occurs in a designated circle, 15 miles in diameter, and is led by an experienced birder, or designated “compiler”. Read more to learn where Vermont CBCs are located, date of counts and compiler contact information.

The longest running citizen science program in the world, the count originally began on Christmas Day in 1900 when ornithologist and legendary birder and ornithologist Frank Chapman posed an alternative to an earlier traditional holiday “side hunt.” Chapman proposed “hunting” birds to record their numbers. Instead of firing a shotgun, now we have an annual snapshot. Decades of data have added up to results envied by other scientists who don’t enjoy such a fleet of volunteer help, or creatures as easily seen and counted as birds.

While there is a specific methodology to the CBC and you need to count birds within an existing Christmas Bird Count circle, everyone can participate! If you are a beginning birder, you will be able to join a group that includes at least one experienced birdwatcher. If your home is within the boundaries of a Christmas Bird Count circle, then you can stay home and report the birds that visit your feeder or join a group of birdwatchers in the field. If you have never been on a CBC before and you want to participate in a count this year, including feeder counting, please contact your count compiler prior to the count.

Would you like to explore the data from seasons past or see a map of count circles? Visit the Christmas Bird Count home page to learn more.

Are you planning on adding your observations to Vermont eBird too? Check out this short article about helpful hints.

VERMONT COUNTS (view map):


Jan. 1, 2016

Contact: Charlie Brown



Dec. 20, 2015

Contact: Kevin Hemeon



Dec. 19, 2015

Contact:Chris Petrak



Dec. 20, 2015

Contact:  Shirley Johnson

Compiler: Eric Lazarus


Champlain Islands/St. Albans

Dec. 20, 2015

Contact: Terry Marron


East Franklin County

Jan. 2, 2016

Contact: Eddy Edwards



Dec. 19, 2015

Contact: Mike Winslow



Jan. 1, 2016

Meet in front of Hopkins Center in Hanover, N.H. at 7am

Contact: Daniel Crook



Jan. 2, 2016

Contact: Paul Wieczoreck


Island Pond

Dec. 19, 2015

Contact: Jayson Benoit


Lamoille County

Dec. 27, 2015

Contact: Noel Dodge


Mad River Valley/Northfield

Dec. 18, 2015

Contact Mad Birders



Dec. 20, 2015

Contact: Jim Andrews


Mt. Abraham

Dec. 19, 2015

Contact: Randy Durand



Dec. 19, 2015

Contact: Chip Darmstadt


Plattsburhg, NY (reaches the VT Champlain islands)

Dec. 19, 2015

Michael Burgess


Randolph Area


Contact: Rick Enser



Jan. 2, 2016

Contact: Roy Pilcher


Saxton’s River

Dec. 19, 2015

Contact: Don Clark



Dec. 20, 2015

Contact: Hugh Putnam or 802-886-8430



Dec. 19, 2015

Contact: Ruth Stewart



Dec. 16, 2015

Contact: Sally Laughlin