MV Christmas Bird Count

The 63rd Marthas Vineyard Christmas Bird Count


Each year, the Audubon Christmas Bird Count mobilizes over 72,000 volunteer bird counters in more than 2,400 locations across the Western Hemisphere. The Christmas Bird Count utilizes the power of volunteers to track the health of bird populations at a scale that scientists could never accomplish alone. Data compiled on Martha’s Vineyard will record every individual bird and bird species seen in a specified area, contributing to a vast citizen science network that continues a tradition stretching back more than 100 years.


Otter at Dawn

Cedar Waxwing at Up-island Cronigs


Yellow-bellied sapsucker

BiodiversityWorks is coordinating the annual CBC for Martha’s Vineyard and compiling the data to submit to Audubon. On the Vineyard, we have 13 territories, and each has a captain. Most teams are out before dawn to go owling, and we bird until sunset. Anyone with a bird feeder on Martha’s Vineyard is welcome to participate using the instructions below. If you have questions, email


Instructions for CBC bird feeder count Jan. 1, 2023

MVcbc feedercount datasheet_jan-1_2023- for printing

MV cbc_feedercount datasheet_jan-1_2023_fillable

Please email your form or bird list and effort to  by 4 pm on count day, OR, call BiodiversityWorks (800-690-0993 ext. 0) and leave a message with your data, the time you started/ended, and how long you watched.

White breasted nuthatch at feeder


Benjamin Clock, photographing Sanderlings
– Brad Winn

Citizen science efforts are critical to understanding how birds are responding to a changing climate. The CBC data enabled Audubon scientists to discover that 314 species of North American birds are threatened by global warming as reported in Audubon’s groundbreaking Birds and Climate Change Study. The tradition of counting birds, combined with modern technology and mapping, is enabling researchers to make discoveries that were not possible in earlier decades. To date over 200 scientific articles have been published from analysis of CBC data.

The Audubon Christmas Bird Count began in 1900 when Dr. Frank Chapman, founder of Bird Lore – which evolved into Audubon magazine – suggested an alternative to the holiday “side hunt,” in which teams competed to see who could shoot the most birds. 116 years of counting birds is a long time, but the program somehow brings out the best in people, and they stay involved for the long run. And so the tradition continues.

Northern Cardinal
–Sharon Pearson

red breasted nuthatch


The Audubon Christmas Bird Count is a citizen science project organized by the National Audubon Society.  There is no fee to participate and the quarterly report, American Birds, is available online. Counts are open to birders of all skill levels and Audubon’s free Bird Guide app makes it even easier to chip in. For more information visit

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