This year will be Audubon’s 116th Christmas Bird Count. Even more amazing, this is the bird club's 53rd consecutive year of participation. And once again, The Cayuga Bird Club will organize the Ithaca count on their traditional date of January 1. That is a Friday this year and a holiday as usual. All members of the public are encouraged to participate and we are always hoping to inspire some first time counters to participate, so please don't hesitate to be in touch if you are interested in learning more.

If you would like more information or if you would like assistance in choosing a count area or if you are a beginner and are concerned about identifying birds accurately, please get in touch with club President Jody Enck at 319-4216, or, He will be happy to discuss count particulars and offer options which may be appealing. you. Also, check out this link for lots of information and historical perspective on this event:

Within the 15-mile diameter Ithaca count circle, we have nine areas from which to choose, all with their own hotspots. Here is the map which shows the circle and the areas. Click on the image to download a printable PDF.

Provisional Area Leaders listed below, so if there is an area you are particularly interested in, get in touch.

Beginners can be paired with more experienced birders. The more eyes and ears, the better. Dress warmly, be sure to have some hot beverages and other provisions with you and get out and enjoy the day. This will be a great start to your own personal 2012 bird list while contributing to this monumental data collection.

You can begin at 12:01 a.m. on January 1 by listening for owls (although around 5AM may be better) , or you can head out at dawn (or later, it's up to you) to tally resident songbirds. You can drive around in the afternoon to look for hawks, and/or you can snuggle in at home and count birds at your feeders. As you can see, there are many options for participation and your input is invaluable at all levels. We want to thank all of you in advance for your time and contribution.

If you choose to stay home and count birds at your feeders, write down the total time you spend watching, the species seen, and the maximum number of birds of each species seen at any one time. This is the same protocol as Project Feederwatch. Call the Cornell Lab of Ornithology at 254-2473 between 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. (no later, please!) to report your totals to this year’s club volunteer, who has yet to be named.

Compilation Dinner

At the end of the day, join other Christmas Bird Count (CBC) participants, families and friends in the auditorium of the Johnson Center, starting at 6:00 p.m., for a potluck supper at 6:30 p.m. followed by the compilation of sightings at 7:15 p.m. Bring a dish to share, a beverage and your own table service. Paul Anderson will be our count compiler and we are happy to have him do this. He will bring good bird knowledge and a wonderful historical perspective to this endeavor.

2014 Area Leaders

There is no longer a fee to Participate

Important and Exciting news for the Christmas Bird Count program

After nearly two years of internal discussions, budget modeling, head-scratching, and intense decision-making, two major changes came to the Christmas Bird Count program effective with the 113th Count in December, 2012. First, the CBC is now a free program. Audubon will no longer charge the $5.00 fee of field participants. Second, to minimize the effects of the loss of fee income, American Birds will no longer be printed on paper and mailed to participants, and Audubon will move to an online delivery of the summary results of the CBC.

Audubon does request though, that you consider making a donation in support of their huge task of data compilation and analysis. Go to this link to do so

Counts are submitted to Audubon, which compiles the data from all the count circles. Audubon publishes a summary report each year and posts all CBC data on the Internet. This huge database is available for anyone to access--high school students doing a project, newspaper reporters writing about bird population trends, or scientists doing research.

The Audubon Christmas Bird Count has always been held in the December 14 through January 5 time span. In addition to count circles throughout the United States, counts are conducted in Canada, the Caribbean, Mexico, Ecuador, Nicaragua, and the Pacific Islands. You can see results, view photos, and get more detailed information at We urge you to browse this site to evaluate the importance and scope of this ongoing count. The data that is gathered through this huge and historic effort is invaluable and we are all fortunate that we get to be a part of this.