The Christmas Bird Counts are held annually between December 14 and January 5 each year. The first Christmas Bird Counts were conducted on Boxing Day 1900 at a number of locations in the United States and Canada. Consult the Bird Studies web-site for Canadian CBCs information and links to the CBC maintained by the National Audubon Society.
In 2010 over 2,000 counts were held across North America and beyond. Collectively the Christmas Bird Counts represent the longest running annual bird survey in North America, having just completed its 117th year. A set of standard procedures has been established for the operation of a Christmas Bird Count. Each count covers an area contained within a circle with diameter 24 kilometers and occurs during one calendar day. Volunteer birders cover a part of the count area and record all the species of birds seen and heard
The National Audubon Society coordinates these annual bird counts and in Canada they are assisted by Bird Studies Canada. The results for the counts conducted are available along with studies utilizing count data at the web-site maintained by the National Audubon Society.
The first Christmas Bird Count held in Peterborough County was the centered in Millbrook. The first Millbrook CBC was held on December 25, 1905. It was held annually until the final count on December 14, 1915, a total of nine years.
The first Peterborough CBC was held in December 1952 and has been held annually since. The count held on December 19 2011 was the 60th consecutive Peterborough CBC. The 28 participants found a total of 58 species of birds, presenting 15,002 individuals. For more details consult the January/February issue of ‘The Orchid’.
A count centered on Woodview and covering the area between Burleigh Falls and Apsley was initially held on December 30, 1968 and held for eight years, with the final CBC being held on December 29, 1975.
A count centered on Buckhorn and covering both the shield north and the farmland south of the lakes was held on December 16, 1978 and was conducted annually until December 18, 1988.
The Petroglyphs CBC, centred on the Petroglyphs Provincial Park and covering the area from the north shore of Stoney Lake to Apsley and Lasswade was initially held on 1983 and has been held annually since. The most recent count was held on January 2, 2012 and the 22 participant found 29 species. For more details see the January/February issue of ‘The Orchid’.
This year’s Christmas Bird Count will be held on December 18th for Peterborough County and December 27th for the Petroglyphs Bird Count.