The 118th Annual Christmas Bird Count in Vermont

By Kent McFarland December 1, 2017
The Year of the Snowy Owl. Photo by K.P. McFarland

The 118th 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, 2018
Contact: Charlie Brown –

Dec. 23, 2017
Contact: Kevin Hemeon –

Dec. 16 2017
Contact: Cory Ross –

Burlington (the 70th Anniversary!)
Dec. 17, 2017
Contact:  Shirley Johnson –
Compiler: Eric Lazarus –

Champlain Islands/St. Albans
Dec. 17, 2017
Contact: Terry Marron –

East Franklin County
Dec. 30, 2017
Contact: Eddy Edwards –

Dec. 16, 2017
Contact: Mike Winslow –

Jan. 1, 2018
Meet in front of Hopkins Center in Hanover, N.H. at 7am
Contact: Daniel Crook –

Dec. 30, 2017
Contact: Paul Wieczoreck –

Hunger Mountain (NEW!)
Dec. 26, 2017
Contact: Zach Cota-Weaver-

Island Pond
Dec. 15, 2017

Lamoille County
December 23, 2017
Contact: Noel Dodge –

Mad River Valley/Northfield
Dec. 15, 2017
Contact: Mad Birders –

Dec. 17, 2017
Contact: Jim Andrews –

Mt. Abraham
Dec. 16, 2017
Contact: Randy Durand –

Dec. 16, 2017
Contact: Chip Darmstadt –

Plattsburhg, NY (reaches the VT Champlain islands)
Dec. 17, 2017
Contact: Michael Burgess –

Randolph Area

Contact: Brian Lowe –

Dec. 30, 2017
Contact:Rutland Audubon –

Saxton’s River
Dec. 16, 2017
Contact: Don Clark –

Dec. 17, 2017
Contact: Hugh Putnam – or 802-886-8430

Dec. 30, 2017
Contact: Ruth Stewart –

Woodstock (43rd Year!)
Dec. 14, 2017
Contact: Sally Laughlin –