Birds & Science

We use the best available science to ensure the survival of Montana's birds and other wildlife.

Christmas Bird Count

2017 – 2018 Dates – Join a Count Near You!

Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is an annual tradition for families, communities, and the conservation movement. The CBC is the longest running Citizen Science survey in the world. The count began in 1900 and is an important and well-respected program of National Audubon.

Erick Greene, Missoula's CBC

Erick Greene, Missoula’s CBC

During this early-winter bird census, participants count every bird they see or hear during one day in a designated 15-mile diameter circle. Some volunteers even do this from their kitchen window, watching nearby feeders.

The upcoming CBC runs from December 14, 2017 and January 5, 2018. All Christmas Bird Counts (CBCs) are open to the public. Here’s how to participate this year:

  • To locate the CBC nearest you, refer to the map above (these locations are anticipated in 2017-18).
  • Updated count dates, leaders, and other information can be found BELOW (and we will keep it updated as we receive information).
  • A table of Montana CBC info (dates, leaders, etc.) by location can be downloaded HERE: (MT_compiler_CBC_Current).
  • Here’s the account of last year’s CBC: CBC write-up 117th 2016-17. Thanks to Rose Leach of Five Valleys Audubon for compiling statewide results!

Christmas Bird Counts have proven incredibly valuable for what they tell scientists — and all of us — about our changing world.

1 - Eureka - December 16, 2017

For information contact count leaders Lewis or Lynda Young at 406-889-3492, [email protected] or Ellen Sullivan at 406-889-3983.

2 - Troy

We don’t know the compiler for the 2017-18 CBC yet. If you want to know about the 2016-17 count, contact Don Jones at 406-295-4291, [email protected].

3 - Libby - December 16, 2017

For more information contact Gene Reckin, [email protected], cell: 406-291-8482, home: 406-293-9344.

4 - Glacier National Park - December 17, 2017

Meet at 8:30 am at the Research Learning Center which is located in West Glacier headquarters at the junction of Mather and Ruhle Drives. For more information prior to the Count, contact: Lisa Bate, at [email protected] or (406) 888-7833.

5 - Kalispell

We don’t know the compiler for the 2017-18 CBC yet. If you want to know about the 2016-17 count, contact Pete Fisher: [email protected], 406-250-9624.

6 - Bigfork - December 16, 2017

Groups are assigned the week before the count. If you want to participate, contact Craig Hohenberger: [email protected] or 406-890-1629 OR attend the Dec. 11 Flathead Audubon meeting. We will also gather at the end of the day at a site TBA.

7 - Upper Swan Valley - December 16, 2017

If you want to participate, contact Luke at 406-754-3137 or [email protected]. At 6 pm, there will be a potluck at the Condon Work Center to tally results.

8 - Ninepipe National Wildlife Refuge

We don’t know the compiler for the 2017-18 CBC yet. If you want to know about the 2016-17 count, contact Brian Williams: 406-721-1467 (home) or [email protected].

9 - Missoula - December 16, 2017

Groups are assigned the week before the count. If you want to participate in the field count, contact Larry Weeks at [email protected] or 406-540-3064 (406-540-3064 cell). If you are interested in being a feeder watcher, contact Rose Leach at 406-370-1999 or [email protected]. The Count day will end with a potluck dinner at the home of Larry Weeks, 2428 West Kent. Potluck guests are welcome to arrive at 6:00 PM. Dinner will commence at 6:30 PM. Please bring your favorite potluck offering, or A-L, bring a salad or dessert, and M-Z, a hot dish.

10 - Stevensville - December 30, 2017

If you want to participate, meet in the conference room of the Stevensville Ranger Station (88 Main Street, Stevensville) between 7:30 and 8:00 AM. For more details call Dave Lockman at 406-381-7679.

11 - Hamilton - December 16, 2017

Meet at 7:30 AM at Teller Wildlife Refuge’s Education Room on Chaffin Lane (one mile north of Corvallis). Questions? Contact John at 406-360-9530 or [email protected].

12 - Grant Kohrs Nat'l. Historic Site - Deer Lodge - December 19, 2017

Meet at 8 AM at Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site Headquarters in Deer Lodge if you want to participate. Lunch will be served at Park Headquarters after the count. For more information contact Gary Swant at [email protected].

13 - Warm Springs - January 1, 2018

If you want to participate, contact Gary Swant at [email protected]. Meet at 8:00 AM at the Warm Springs store/bar parking lot (Warm Springs Exit 201 off I-90). Lunch is planned after the event.

14 - Big Hole

For information on the 2017-18 count, contact Kate Stone either by email ([email protected]) or phone (406-381-1115).

15 - Clark Canyon Dam - December 16, 2017

Meet at 8:00 AM at the south parking lot of UM-Western located at the south end of Dillon. For more information contact Jack at [email protected] or 406-683-7321. Anyone can participate without notifying Jack ahead of time.

16 - Ennis - December 20, 2017

If you want to participate, contact Robin: [email protected] or 406-581-5418 (EMAIL PREFERRED). Meet at Yesterday’s Café in the Ennis Pharmacy at 7:30 AM (124 Main Street in Ennis). Come sooner if you want to eat breakfast (they open at 6 AM).

17 - West Yellowstone - December 17, 2017

Meet at the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center in West Yellowstone at 8:30 AM. Teams will be organized at this time to travel by car, foot, skis, and snowmobile. For more information contact Brad Barth at [email protected] or (406) 640-2628.

18 - Yellowstone National Park - Gardiner - December 17, 2017

Meet at the Yellowstone Grill (404 Scott St) at 7:00 AM in Gardiner. Bring lunch, drinks, snacks, fluids, and warm clothes. For more information, contact Woody Martyn at [email protected] or (406) 224-1476.

19 - Livingston/ Park County - December 17, 2017

Meet at Pinky’s in Livingston (109 South Main Street) between 7:30-8:00 AM. For more information, contact George at 406-220-0282 or [email protected].

20 - Bozeman - December 16, 2017

Meet at Perkins Restaurant, 2505 West Main, Bozeman, between 7:00 – 7:30 AM. Contact John Parker (586-5863) or [email protected] for more information.

21 - Three Forks - December 26, 2017

Meet at Wheat Montana at exit 274 at 7:45 AM (or by 7:15 for breakfast) . For more information contact Tom Forwood (406) 570-6432 or [email protected] (EMAIL PREFERRED).

22 - Helena - December 16, 2017

Meet at Jorgenson’s Restaurant (11th Ave. and Lamborn) at 6:30 AM if you want a restaurant breakfast and 7:15 AM if you don’t. For more information, contact Coburn at [email protected] or 406-449-2574. At 6:00 PM, there will be a potluck at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, 512 Logan Street (also accessible from Lawrence St. and Cruse St.).

23 - Great Falls - December 16, 2017

If you are interested in participating, contact Nora Gray: [email protected] or 406-781-4153. Participants, please let Nora know by Wednesday, December 13 if you will be attending Saturday’s post- CBC pizza and salad dinner at FWP headquarters (the dinner is paid for by Upper Missouri Breaks Audubon).

ALTERNATIVE DATE: Sunday, December 17 (if the weather does not cooperate).

24 - Chester

We do not know if this count will run this year. Stay tuned.

25 - Little Rocky Mountains

For information on the 2017-18 count, contact Fritz at 406-654-1381 or [email protected].

26 - Malta/Bowdoin National Wildlife Refuge

For information on the 2017-18 count, contact Fritz at 406-654-1381 or [email protected].

27 - McNeil's Slough

For information on the 2017-18 count, contact Fritz at 406-654-1381 or [email protected].

28 - Fort Peck - December 30, 2017

Please contact Jean Carlson (406-526-3245 or [email protected]) before the Count so we have some idea of how many will be participating. We will meet at Jean’s home in Ft. Peck (1125 N. Platte – behind the old school) at about 7:30 AM. Lunch and a home cooked soup supper with homemade rye bread are provided!

29 - Lewistown

We do not know if this count will run this year. Stay tuned.

30 - Musselshell Valley/ Roundup-area - December 17, 2017

If you are interested in participating, contact Rose Emily, 406-323-3544, [email protected].

31 - Billings - December 16, 2017

To participate, please call Jim Court (406-259-5099 or [email protected]) before Dec. 13 (alternate contacts: Gail Speck (406-461-1997) or Will Crain (406-697-9156)). Meet at Denny’s Restaurant, 501 North  27th St., at 7 AM. At the end of count day, meet at the Audubon Center (7026 South Billings Blvd, Billings) for pizza and drinks. Everyone is welcome!

32 - Miles City - December 17, 2017

For information on the 2017-18 count, contact Jennifer Muscha: 406-951-2799 or [email protected].

33 - Cut Bank - December 17, 2017

Meet at the Big Sky Cafe in Cut Bank between 6:30 and 8:00 for breakfast / to assign routes/regions. Tally location TBD. For more information contact Kate Atkins: 215-601-4330 or email: [email protected].

34 - Ruby Valley - January 4, 2018

Meet at Fritts Dream Bean Cafe in Sheridan (105 S Main St) at 7:45-8:15 AM. Please let Tom know if you plan to eat breakfast at the cafe. For more information contact Tom Forwood (406) 570-6432 or [email protected] (EMAIL PREFERRED). NOTE: cross country skiers are needed for some sections.

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