eBirding your Christmas Bird Count

By Jody Allair December 12, 2019
Clark's Nutcracker Photo by Jody Allair

It’s the most wonderful time of year – the Christmas Bird Count season is here!

Starting in 1900, the Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is North America’s longest-running Citizen Science project. Counts happen in over 2000 localities throughout the Western Hemisphere. The information collected by thousands of volunteer participants forms one of the world’s largest sets of wildlife survey data. The results are used daily by conservation biologists and naturalists to assess the population trends and distribution of birds. Each CBC is conducted on a single day between December 14 and January 5. Counts are carried out within a 24-km diameter circle that stays the same from year to year. They are organized, usually as group efforts, at the local level, often by a birding club or naturalist organization.

The Audubon CBC is coordinated in Canada by Birds Canada.

eBirding on the CBC

While doing your CBC, eBird Mobile makes it easy to keep your tallies through the day. Here are our tips for making your CBC eBirding as helpful as possible.

  • Only submit lists that include birds observed by your CBC group: do not group lists from other birding parties together
  • Keep multiple lists throughout the day: ideally one for each stop, or perhaps one for each road.
  • Include only one-way distance in your traveling counts: both CBC and eBird measure distance as one-way distance

Here are some more useful links for eBird best practices and CBC resources: