MDC encourages birders to help with Audubon Christmas Bird Count

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — 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

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;
  • Big Spring on Jan. 3 – Contact Steve Paes at;
  • Clarence Cannon National Wildlife Refuge on Dec. 20 – Contact Bruce Schuette at;
  • Cole Camp Prairies on Dec. 27 – Contact Ryan Steffens at;
  • Columbia on Dec. 14 – Contact Laura Hillman at;
  • Confluence on Jan. 1 – Contact Randy Korotev at; and
  • Grand River on Dec. 14 – Contact Terry McNeely at;
  • Kansas City/Unity Village on Dec. 29 – Contact Mike Stoakes at;
  • Liberal on Jan. 3 – Contact Dana Hoisington at;
  • Maramec Springs on Dec. 21 - Contact Louise Wilkinson at;
  • Mingo National Wildlife Refuge on Dec. 14 – Contact Bill Eddleman at;
  • Poplar Bluff on Dec. 20 – Contact Bruce Beck at;
  • Prairie State Park on Jan. 3 – Contact Dana Hoisington at;
  • St. Joseph on Dec. 14 – Contact Tom Nagel at;
  • Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge on Jan. 1 – Contact Steve Kinder at
  • Trimble (Smithville Lake) on Dec. 14 – Contact Kristi Mayo at;
  • Weldon Spring on Dec. 15 – Contact Anne McCormack at;

For a full list of CBCs, visit

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