Christmas Bird Count

History of the Christmas Bird Count

Prior to the turn of the 20th century, hunters engaged in a holiday tradition known as the Christmas "Side Hunt." They would choose sides and go afield with their guns—whoever brought in the biggest pile of feathered (and furred) quarry won.

The conservation movement was still in its beginning stages in that era, and many observers and scientists were becoming concerned about the declining bird populations. Beginning on Christmas Day 1900, ornithologist Frank M. Chapman, an early officer in the then-nascent Audubon Society, proposed a new holiday tradition—a "Christmas Bird Census" that would count birds during the holidays rather than hunt them.

Click the Picture Below For the National Audubon CBC Page

<-- Click Left to View Manatee County's CBC results

If you would like to help on the next Manatee County CBC on December 19th, or need additional information please email the CBC coordinator: Kathy Doddridge at