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Christmas Bird Count

Running from December 14th to January 5th, the counts contribute to community science and are open to everyone.


© Noah Cole


Each year, Ontario Nature member groups organize bird counts in their communities across Ontario as part of holiday traditions. A festive holiday tradition, the annual Christmas Bird Counts (CBCs) welcome birders of all skill levels to these free events.

CBCs bring community scientists around the western hemisphere to count as many different species, and individuals of those species as possible over the course of a single day within a 24-kilometre diameter circle.

Join a bird count in your area this holiday season to contribute to bird research in North America.

Common redpoll © Missy Mandel

Christmas Bird Counts

The holidays will be different again this year, but one community science tradition remains. The Christmas Bird Count has been running for 122 years through thick and thin. This year, individual counts will be adapted to meet each locality’s COVID-19 protocol, but they will persevere.

Depending on which count you’d like to attend, local restrictions under the COVID-19 guidelines will affect participation, while others may be cancelled. Read Ontario Nature’s COVID-19 precautions for events.

Evening grosbeak © Barry Ferg CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

“The Christmas Bird Count is a great way for bird lovers of all ages to help Ontario’s birds. Novices work alongside experts to collect important data that help guide work on behalf of all birds across the province. And who knows… maybe you’ll see a rare bird that no one has recorded before.”

– Emma Horrigan, Ontario Nature’s Conservation Projects and Education Manager

Listings for 2021–22

There is no cost to join a Christmas Bird Count. The counts present participants with the opportunity to connect with nature while collecting important data about Ontario’s birds, and to reap the benefits of both.

Please register with the area’s local contact.


© Elaine Uskoski


The data collected help researchers and conservation groups study the long-term abundance and ranges of birds across North America. Armed with one of the world’s largest sets of wildlife data, groups like Ontario Nature can effectively run and evaluate conservation activities.

Birds Canada oversees Canada’s Christmas Bird Counts along with the National Audubon Society.

Barred owl © Nature Barrie


For more information, please contact Lisa Richardson, nature network and communications coordinator, at lisar@ontarionature.org or 416-444-8419 ext. 222.

Rouge Park Christmas Bird Count © Noah Cole

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