National Audubon’s 122nd Christmas Bird Count

GBHE_02-St-Annes-Marsh-02042021Calling all winter bird counters! CBC, the Concord circle edition, will take flight January 2, 2022 midnight to midnight, bracketed by the count period, three days before and three after the big day. Volunteers should connect with their leadership the first few weeks of December. New participants are encouraged to browse these pages for the rules of the game.

Please conform to local pandemic related regulations; these go town by town at this point and apply to indoor activities so our count should feel almost “normal”. Audubon has published the following requirements HERE. Read Option 1.  Countdown evening festivities are up in the air at the moment; as far as I know SVT’s Wolbach farmhouse is not open for group events. Audubon requires us to wear masks indoors. Gets complicated. But we’ll see in a month. Plan B is another Zoom meeting if we have a host.

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A few introductions: We have new leadership in the Bolton, Maynard, Stow sector and Wayland. As you may know, Steve Moore has retired from coordinating so all you Bolton, Maynard, and Stow volunteers must connect with Nick Tepper, who knows the territory better than anyone. Nick is not just an expert birder but a rounded naturalist who knows the vocalizations of the North American River Otter, can distinguish Northern and Southern flying squirrel chirps and the stridulations and calls of singing insects. Nick can be found many evenings in the Stow Marshes but for the present purposes I’d suggest going to his contact pages linked from the right sidebar and sign up by phone or email.

GBHE_05-St-Annes-Marsh-02042021Long-time Wayland resident and CBCer Daryl Vanderburgh will anchor, of course, Wayland with an assist from the John Andrews team. I don’t know a lot about Daryl but I’ve heard he can be found prowling for snowy owls cold January weekends along Plum Island. He will consolidate the data for Wayland—so feeder watchers and field team leaders should submit their results to Daryl.

Huge thanks to Kathy Dia for directing the Concord volunteers for several years and going where others fear to tread; I write this because Kathy has retired from leadership. Concord has about seventy participants so this is a job. 

GBHE_01-St-Annes-Marsh-02042021All volunteers censusing in the National Wildlife Refuge properties must alert their town leaders ten days before count day. We need only your names and name of the Refuge. We are under the strict guidance of a Federal Special Use Permit. (Hey, I don’t make the rules.) Also, HQ would like to archive your checklists; please sequester your Refuge field lists and submit them to the compiler or your town leader.

eBirders! Remember to record your car miles and time spent in car for both daylight counting and owling. eBirding is a great way to do the count but it will not record your car miles and times unless you create separate checklists while birding IN your car.

Anyway, thanks for your participation and good luck with Concord count number 62—and the winter!


Many thanks to our sponsor, Sudbury Valley Trustees, for their support and SVT-LOGOaccommodations in years past; We will post information about our countdown in December. Several SVT properties are censused during the count. Please become a member if you have not joined.

The Christmas Bird Couaudubon-logo-post-pagent 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 ylogo_cornell-labour contributions. Please consider a donation to the CBC to support the science and the welfare of our North American birds. Follow the Audubon logo.

Media: Norman Levey
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Concord CBC: An Unprecedented Year

Cedar-Waxwing_VP_10-31-2020Our 61st winter bird count has ended. Please join us again on count day, January 2, 2022. Big thanks to all of you for participating and leading. A typical count circle has thirty to forty participants and we had a small increase with 287 total feeder watchers and field birders–about twenty over last year’s enrollment.

A few notable achievements: we are rich in great horned owls and clearly set a new record count. I might attribute this to twelve more party-hours above last year’s effort for a total of 45.63 party-hours owling and a likely high detection rate of 1.88 GHOWs per party-hour. One of our birding high achievers stood along an expansive portion of the Sudbury River marshland and heard six at once!

Red-bellied woodpeckers are unrestrained, again, with 200 over last year’s number and 166 over the record high of four years ago. And this with level participation. In fact, this looked like another year of the woodpecker with high totals on all the species.

Common ravens are successful breeders in the circle so we’ll see how many individuals can fit inside going forward. A small creep upward again. Check out the video below.

Lows: Ring-billed gull still in free-fall. Golden-crowned kinglets and cedar waxwings were scarce and if not for Lincoln’s 66+ CEDWs concentrated around Valley Pond in the SE edge the number would be fewer than half the total. Acton, Concord, and Wayland found the rest.

Rare birds?  A varied thrush overwintering at a feeder in Sudbury enduring an onslaught of aggressive robins.Great Horned Owl audio link small

One of our great horned owl pairs raised at least one chick, now a teenager, heard recently sounding off along Valley Pond, and three common ravens, nurtured on Codman Farm free-range chicken eggs, fledged last spring in the Lincoln CBC sector! Watch the moving spectrogram and listen to the screaming kids. We hope the entire family joins us on Count Day 2022. (Recorded June 8, 2021.)


Media: Norman Levey

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