The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) encourages experienced birders to become citizen scientists by helping with the National Audubon Society’s 120th Annual Christmas Bird Count (CBC) between Dec. 14 and Jan. 5 – including about 20 counts in Missouri.
The CBC is an annual winter bird census where thousands of volunteers across the U.S., Canada, and many other countries in the Western Hemisphere count birds over a 24-hour period between Dec. 14 and Jan. 5. Christmas Bird Counts gather data on winter bird populations to track their long-term trends. Each CBC has a coordinator that assigns portions of a 15-mile diameter count circle to participants to count all birds seen and heard. Learn more at audubon.org/conservation/join-christmas-bird-count.
Missouri hosts about 20 CBCs, some of which are listed below. If interested in participating, contact the CBC organizer listed.
- Big Oak Tree State Park on Dec. 17 – Contact Bill Eddleman at firstname.lastname@example.org;
- Big Spring on Jan. 3 – Contact Steve Paes at email@example.com;
- Clarence Cannon National Wildlife Refuge on Dec. 20 – Contact Bruce Schuette at firstname.lastname@example.org;
- Cole Camp Prairies on Dec. 27 – Contact Ryan Steffens at email@example.com;
- Columbia on Dec. 14 – Contact Laura Hillman at firstname.lastname@example.org;
- Confluence on Jan. 1 – Contact Randy Korotev at email@example.com; and
- Grand River on Dec. 14 – Contact Terry McNeely at firstname.lastname@example.org;
- Kansas City/Unity Village on Dec. 29 – Contact Mike Stoakes at email@example.com;
- Liberal on Jan. 3 – Contact Dana Hoisington at firstname.lastname@example.org;
- Maramec Springs on Dec. 21 – Contact Louise Wilkinson at email@example.com;
- Mingo National Wildlife Refuge on Dec. 14 – Contact Bill Eddleman at firstname.lastname@example.org;
- Poplar Bluff on Dec. 20 – Contact Bruce Beck at email@example.com;
- Prairie State Park on Jan. 3 – Contact Dana Hoisington at firstname.lastname@example.org;
- St. Joseph on Dec. 14 – Contact Tom Nagel at email@example.com;
- Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge on Jan. 1 – Contact Steve Kinder at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Trimble (Smithville Lake) on Dec. 14 – Contact Kristi Mayo at email@example.com;
- Weldon Spring on Dec. 15 – Contact Anne McCormack at firstname.lastname@example.org;
For a full list of CBCs, visit audubon.maps.arcgis.com/apps/View/index.html?appid=fadfb421e95f4949bde20c29a38228bd.
MDC State Ornithologist Sarah Kendrick offers these CBC tips:
- If you’ve never participated in a CBC, tell the organizer so they can place you with experienced birders.
- Share your level of birding knowledge when you contact the CBC organizer so they can make sure you’re with a team with the experience to properly identify birds seen or heard.
- Dress warmly. Most CBCs will be held regardless of weather unless inclement weather is dangerous.
- Bring snacks and beverages to stay fueled for a long day.
For more information on Missouri birds, visit MDC’s online Field Guide at nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/search.