Discover Nature NotesMore posts

Christmas Bird Counts

Nov 25, 2018

Looking for something new and fun to do outdoors this season?  Something that supports a good cause?

The annual Christmas Bird Count is a fun holiday tradition.  On a single day between December 14th and January 5th, birders and scientists across the country and western hemisphere, count all the birds seen or heard from before sunrise to after sunset.  On a count, participants go afield for one day and list the number of individuals of each species.

The results are compiled by the National Audubon Society which runs the program.  Anyone can join one of several counts across Missouri.  New birders are often paired with experienced birders in the group.  It's a great opportunity to learn more about birds and help them at the same time. These findings help with conservation efforts, congressional decisions, and when gathered together, answer questions such as, "How are the bluebirds doing?" and "What new birds are showing up?

This tradition got its start on Christmas Day in 1900 and included Missouri among the early states participating.  The Christmas Bird Count is the longest-running citizen-science effort in the United States.  It’s a unique bird census that helps birds by providing a snapshot of their winter locations.

Find more details, a map, and how to sign up for this year's Christmas Bird Count.

Discover great places to watch birds in Missouri along the Great Missouri Birding Trail.

If you can't make it out this season, you can join in a shorter, Great Backyard Bird Count in February.


MO DOC-2018-DNN Dec Wk 1 Christmas Bird Count -MDOC1812-LF01.mp3

Discover Nature Notes Radio
Discover outdoor adventure helping count birds this season


Kids Birding
Kids Birding

Bird Diversity.jpg

Christmas Bird Count at MDC's Four Rivers Conservation Area.
Bird Diversity
The annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count at MDC's Four Rivers Conservation Area tallied 109 species of birds. Among those species, red-headed woodpeckers were found in impressive numbers as they fed on acorns in bottomland forest at the area.

Recent Posts

coyote in snow

Wily Coyotes

Feb 17, 2019

Wily E. Coyote never could catch the roadrunner in cartoons, but in reality, coyotes have keen survival skills. Learn how two famous Missourians shaped their image, and how to deal with them in urban areas in this week's Discover Nature Note.

valentines composite

Nature Valentines Top 5

Feb 10, 2019

Many species use showy displays and fancy moves to attract a mate. Catch our top five countdown on the best in show on land, in the air, and on the water.

Red-tailed hawk in flight

Hollywood's Voice of Choice

Feb 03, 2019

Their piercing calls are often dubbed for eagles in the movies.  Red-tailed hawks have strong senses as well.  Learn more in this week's Discover Nature Note.

Field Guide

Discovering nature from A-Z is one click away


You had fun hunting, catching or gathering your quarry—now have more fun cooking and eating it.
Check out the recipes