The 123rd Annual Christmas Bird Count in Vermont

By Nathaniel Sharp and Kent McFarland December 15, 2022
Northern Cardinal Cardinalis cardinalis

The 123rd Christmas Bird Count will take place from December 14 through January 5. This is perhaps the longest running community 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 community 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):

Barnet

Jan. 1, 2023

Contact: Jeff MacQueen – jmacqueen65@gmail.com

Bennington

Dec. 23, 2022

Contact: Kevin Hemeon – kevinhemeon6@icloud.com

Brattleboro

Dec. 17, 2022

Contact: Cory Ross – coryross24@gmail.com

Sign-up – https://www.sevtas.org/christmas-bird-count

Burlington

Dec. 18, 2022

Contact: Elizabeth Spinney – burlingtoncbc@gmail.com

Compiler: Larry Clarfeld – lclarfeld@gmail.com

Champlain Islands/St. Albans

Dec. 18, 2022

Contact: Terry Marron – tgmarron@comcast.net

East Franklin County

Dec. 31, 2022

Contact: Annette Goyne – annette.goyne@gmail.com

Ferrisburgh

Dec. 17, 2022

Contact: Mike Winslow – mikekira@myfairpoint.net

Hanover-Norwich

Dec. 30, 2022

Contact: Nancy Martin – borealdee@gmail.com

Hinesburg-Huntington

Dec. 31, 2022

Contact: Paul Weiczoreck – mgcpw@gmavt.net

Hunger Mountain

Dec. 26, 2022

Contact: Zach Cota-Weaver – zcotaweaver@gmail.com

Island Pond

Dec. 14, 2022

Contact: maria@northwoodscenter.org

Lamoille County

Jan. 1, 2023

Contact: Noel Dodge – noel.dodge@gmail.com

Mad River Valley/Northfield

Dec. 16, 2022

Contact: info@madbirders.org

Middlebury

Dec. 18, 2022

Contact: Jim Andrews – jandrews@vtherpatlas.org

Mt. Abraham

Jan. 1, 2023

Contact: Randy Durand – durand@gmavt.net

Plainfield

Dec. 17, 2022

Contact: Sean Beckett – sean@northbranchnaturecenter.org

signup: https://northbranchnaturecenter.org/christmas-bird-count/

Plattsburgh, NY (reaches the VT Champlain islands)

Dec. 18, 2022

Contact: Michael Burgess – mburg005@plattsburgh.edu

Randolph Area

Dec. 17, 2022

Brian Lowe – vtbirdguy@yahoo.com

Rutland

Jan. 1, 2023

Contact: Sue Elliott – birding@rutlandcountyaudubon.org

Saxton’s River

Dec. 17, 2022

Contact: Don Clark – sapsbks@gmail.com

Springfield

Dec. 18, 2022

Contact: Marianne & Michael Walsh – mwalsh@vermontel.net

Tri-County (Essex and nearby towns)

Dec, 17, 2022

Contact: Jason Crooks – mwongera@hotmail.com

Winhall/Windham

Dec. 17, 2022

Contact: Ruth Stewart – birder_rws@outlook.com

Woodstock

Dec. 15, 2022

Contact: Sally Laughlin – sblaughlininvt@gmail.com