I'd like to set up a new Christmas Bird Count circle, what do I do?

Want to start a new count in your area? There are now over 2000 CBCs in the United States, Canada, Hawaii, the Pacific Islands, the Caribbean, Central and South America, and the more the merrier! In order for you to start a new Christmas Bird Count in your area, we will need to receive the completed New Count Application with the following information as part of the application process between September 1 and December 1:

  • The permanent name of your new count, along with the description and exact latitude and longitude (in decimal degrees only) of the center point of your 15-mile diameter circle. The lat/long information in decimal degree format is critical to get your Count set up in the CBC database.
  • A good map with the proposed circle drawn on it, along with other nearby counts also plotted on the map. This is to make sure that your new count won't overlap with existing circles. Please be sure to use the same scale for all circles shown.You can use Google Earth or Google Maps for this step.
  • General geographic and good habitat descriptions of the area, including percentages of habitat types, an indication of the vegetation in each habitat, and why the area is important.
  • An assurance that at least 10 participants will be available every year to do the count, along with a description of the experience level of the party leaders, to ensure continued good coverage.
  • Name, address, phone number and email of compiler. Please note that an email address is mandatory to enter data.


While we look forward to receiving the information on your new CBC by December 1, we recommend that you run a trial count for the first season before sending us the application. This helps ensure that your proposed circle is one you and your participants will be happy with for the future. In running a trial count, unanticipated logistical problems may be discovered, and you can make sure your circle includes the best possible combination of local habitats, as well as ensure you have enough participation to adequately cover the area.

When we receive your application, we will review it and get back to you as soon as possible if there is any problem. If everything is in order, you will contacted to confirm you can go ahead with your new count.

To propose your new circle, please send your application between September 1 and December 1 to:

Audubon Science Office
Attn: Christmas Bird Count - New Count Application
2300 Computer Avenue #I-49
Willow Grove, PA 19090
or, via email to the CBC Office