Beginning on Christmas Day 1900, ornithologist Frank Chapman,
an early officer in the then budding Audubon Society, proposed
a new holiday tradition-a "Christmas Bird Census"-that
would count birds in the holidays rather than hunt them. So began
the Christmas Bird Count. These efforts have allowed hobbyists
and scientists to monitor population trends and to get just a
little closer to nature during the Christmas season.
More than 2000 communities in North America are assigned standardized
15-mile diameter circles in which to count all the birds they
can in a single day. In our area, this covers almost all of the
greater Victoria region, so we need plenty of help.
You don't have to be an expert birder to participate. Novices
will be teamed up with more experienced counters. You can help
out by acting as a tally person or as a spotter. If you are more
experienced, and are wondering about leading a team, we have areas
in need of coordinators.
Most teams start out at first light, and although counting goes
on throughout the day, much is completed by noon. There are a
few "keeners" who go out looking and listening for owls
in the pre-dawn hours, and a few teams of boating birders who
check out the offshore waters, weather permitting and suitable
boats available. Feeder counts can be reported via the VNHS website.
For those who are unsure about participating, or who want to
tune-up their bird-counting skills, a number of field trips in
November and early December will serve as a good practice.
To volunteer for the count, use our online
form, or please contact
Ann Nightingale (firstname.lastname@example.org; 652-6450)
If you have a preference to count in a specific area, you may
contact the team leader for the area directly.
Online Feederwatch Form
Printable pocket-sized bird list (print double-sided)
Rare Bird Report Form
Maps, team leaders, checklists, and history of
Victoria CBC zones
Christmas Bird Counts
Interesting articles and websites regarding Christmas Bird Counts
Audubon report by Ken Kaufmann
Strategies for Christmas Bird Counting
American Birds: The Annual Christmas Bird Count Summary
Count summary sheet (Excel) (pdf)
Instructions and Coordinator