Birders invited to participate in annual holiday tradition

BAR HARBOR — The 115th annual Christmas Bird Count (CBC) will soon be underway on Mount Desert Island and in 31 other areas statewide.

The longest running bird (or any other animal) census in history, the count was started as an alternative to Christmas day bird hunts. It has become a favorite Christmastime tradition for birders and those who like to feed birds. The count provides important data to researchers studying the long-term health and status of bird populations across North America and beyond.

More than 2,500 counts will be completed across the Americas, the Caribbean and Pacific Islands. Here in Maine, there will be 32 counts. Members of Downeast Audubon Society, a local chapter of Maine Audubon covering Hancock County, will run five Christmas Bird Counts, the first of which will be the Blue Hill count on Sunday, Dec. 14.

The Mount Desert Island count will take place on Saturday, Dec. 20. The Hog Bay (Franklin-Eastbrook) count is set for Saturday, Dec. 27. The Schoodic Count will be on Thursday, Jan. 1. The last county count takes place in Deer Isle on Saturday, Jan. 3

Each count is done on a single day in a designated 15-mile diameter circle that is the same every year. Circles generally include areas of more than one town, for example, the Blue Hill count, centered on Blue Hill Mountain, also covers portions of Surry, Penobscot and Sedgwick.

Interested birders are invited to participate whether expert or beginner. People are also encouraged to contribute by counting birds at their feeders on the day of the count.

For information about Hancock County counts, contact Downeast Audubon Society at 664-4400 or [email protected]

Visit for information about counts in other areas.


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