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Christmas Bird Count

The first Christmas Bird Count was held on Christmas Day in 1900 in New York City. Now, about 60,000 people participate annually in over 2000 different Christmas Bird Counts held throughout North and South America. The data collected are used to analyze changes in bird numbers. For example, Audubon’s 2009 report explores the impact of climate change on bird populations across the continent. The Woodstock Christmas Bird Count has been held in mid-December every year since 1934. You can download excel summaries of our results below. To see online summaries of all of the world's Christmas Bird Counts, go to http://www.audubon.org/bird/cbc/.

The 85th annual Woodstock Christmas Bird Count was held on December 22nd, 2018. Thirty field observers and 10 feeder watchers saw 32,302 birds of 65 species. This is slightly above the average of 62 species, surprising given that it was a very windy day. New to the count this year was Double-crested Cormorant. This bird was seen by many of count participants below the Pittock Lake dam on the Thames River. Our cumulative list stands at 132 species (plus 3 additional count week only species). Pittock Lake was mostly unfrozen and all rivers were open. This would typically lead to a diversity of waterfowl but an earlier freezeup chased out many of the lingering birds. Birds recorded on fewer than 10 counts included: Green-winged Teal (9 counts), Double-crested Cormorant (1 count), Turkey Vulture (3 counts), Sandhill Crane (6 counts), Iceland Gull (6 counts), Glaucous Gull (4 counts), Snowy Owl (3 counts), Peregrine Falcon (5 counts) and White-crowned Sparrow (8 counts). High counts: Great Blue Heron (21; previous high 16 from 1991 and 1997), Turkey Vulture (4; previous high 1), Bald Eagle (7; ties high from 2017), Herring Gull (1370; previous high 571 in 2006), Merlin (3; previous high 1), Red-winged Blackbird (24; previous high 20 in 2011 and 2017). The photo of the Sandhill Cranes below was taken near Hogsback on count day in 2017 by Jeff Skevington. This species was seen in the same area in 2018 for the 6th year in a row.

The 2019 Christmas Bird Count will be held on December 21st. Contact Jeff Skevington for details (jhskevington@gmail.com; 613-720-2862).

The data for the Woodstock Christmas Bird Counts from 1934-2018 are available below in excel format. Just click to download.

Below is a map of our count area along with the different count sectors