National Audubon’s 119th Winter Bird Count

Welcome to the Concord CBC! We are open for business and volunteers are encouraged to connect with their town coordinators and team captains in the next month. New participants should browse our site and get the details for counting feeder birds and joining a field party. Checklists with instructions for collecting and compiling your observations can be downloaded and printed at home or filled in electronically. If you do not live in the circle and plan to join the count please choose a town that has spots for new participants.

Countdown potluck* is Wednesday January 2 at Sudbury Valley Trustees 18 Wolbach Road (Route 27) Sudbury. Gates open 6:30 p.m. We can admit forty, including essential personnel, leaving space for about twenty guests to join the fun. For the potluck please bring your favorite dishes; contributions can be a main, salad, or dessert. There is a kitchen with ovens and stovetop for reheating. We need a few people to bring drinks and stick around after the event to help clean up.

Sudbury Valley Trustees, a regional land trust with over 2,400 acres in perpetual conservation, sponsors the Concord Christmas Bird Count and generously provides the Wolbach farmhouse for our countdown evening. Several SVT properties are enclosed in our circle and get censused on count day. Please explore their website and become a member. Share your skills and talents as a trip leader or program developer and volunteer.

Our circle may witness a strong flight of winter finches judging from county reports of purple finch numbers and, to the surprise and delight of bird lovers, evening grosbeaks populating fruit trees and feeders all over New England and further south. Middlesex eBird is broadcasting rare bird alerts for red crossbill—flyovers and a few individuals on cones. Time and effort spent learning the flight calls of both crossbill species and evening grosbeak will pay off in birding gold. Common redpolls are showing on the edges of the radar so keep an ear cocked for these as well and scan those seedy thickets and catkin festooned birches. Irruptives other than the finches include red-breasted nuthatch and bohemian waxwing though bohemians, like white-winged crossbills and pine grosbeaks, have barely crossed the northwestern margins of the state.

Ron Pittaway writes a winter finch fore-cast every year. I have augmented this year’s edition with eBird range maps. See it here. I will update the maps near end of December. (We’ve had some purple finch incursions that evaporated by count day.)

The Christmas Bird Count is owned and operated by National Audubon Society in partnership with Bird Studies Canada, the North American Breeding Bird Survey, and the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. Veteran field participants remember when they actually had to pay to participate. Joining the the count is free but it still needs your contributions. Please consider a donation to the CBC to support the science and the welfare of our North American birds. Follow the Audubon heron logo below.

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*Implementation of Chapter 230 of the Acts of 2014, “An Act Relative to Potluck Events” 
Evening Grosbeak copyright 2018 by Holly Wach. Used by permission. All other images are public domain.

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