Christmas Bird Counts

123rd Count Dates:
Stillwater CBC: Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022
Sooner Lake CBC: TBD

If you would like to participate in the 123rd annual Audubon Christmas Bird Counts, you’re in luck because we have two! The 2022 Christmas Bird Count Planning Meeting will take place on Thursday, December 8th.

How to Participate

Come to the planning meeting on December 8!

Please check our Facebook Page for meeting time and location or contact Board Member Tim O’Connell directly at tim.oconnell @ okstate.edu (subject line: Christmas Bird Count)

How to report your sightings following the count day(s):

It is very important that you provide us the following information:
  • How many people were in your party, including first and last names
  • How many hours you spent looking for birds
  • How many miles you drove (tip: write down your odometer number!)
  • How many miles you walked (estimates are okay!)
Please use one of these forms to report this information: MS Word Format or PDF Format
Send completed data forms to Tim O’Connell at tim.oconnell @ okstate.edu within 24 hours of the count.

Want to bird from home? Do a feeder count!

  1. Make sure you are in the count circle, using an above map.
    1. Record your address or GPS coordinates on the data sheet.
  2. Use the same reporting form (above) as the mobile teams.
    1. You can print it, or save the Word version.
  3. Don’t forget to keep track of how long you watch your feeders!
    1. If you watch for 10 minutes every hour, add up all of your blocks of time for a total to put on the data sheet. Make sure to record that you were doing a feeder count.
  4. Don’t forget to write down how many people watch your feeders!
    1. And report their full names on the data sheet, please.
  5. On the data sheet, record the largest number of individuals of each species that you see at your feeders at one time.
    1. Example: I see 3 robins with 20 house sparrows at 10am, and 12 robins with 13 house sparrows at 2pm. On my data sheet, I record that as 12 robins and 20 house sparrows total (use the higher numbers).
  6. Don’t forget to send your completed form to tim.oconnell @ okstate.edu within 24 hours of the count!

Some general do’s and don’ts:

  1. DO join us for one or both counts!
  2. DON’T think you’re not good enough at counting birds to help. The CBC is a great way to get started in birding!
  3. DO report your findings, including birds, time birding, and distance covered! (see forms, above)
  4. Have fun, be safe, and good birding!

History and Purpose of the Counts

Since 1900, the National Audubon Society has operated a citizen science program aimed at counting all birds within a 15-mile diameter circle found on a pre-selected day within two weeks of Christmas Day. This is the Christmas Bird Count, and it remains one of the primary sources of information on populations of wild birds in North America.

The Payne County Audubon Society sponsors two local CBCs. The Stillwater CBC was founded in 1947 by Fred and Marguerite Baumgartner. In 1990, under the leadership of John Couch, we added the Sooner Lake CBC. In 2022, the National Audubon Society will conduct 123rd annual Christmas Bird Counts; for the PCAS this will be the 75th Stillwater CBC and the 32nd Sooner Lake CBC.

Check out reports from past years here!

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