The annual Christmas Bird Count (CBC) has been held for well over a century and is conducted by National Audubon Society with help from thousands of volunteers. Between December 14 through January 5 each year volunteers throughout the Americas take part in the effort. Audubon and other organizations use data collected in this long-running wildlife census to assess the health of bird populations, and to help guide conservation actions. The count is constructed differently than the MOS seasonal counts in that volunteers attempt to count all birds within the same set of non-overlapping circles every year. Approximately 25 circles contain at least a portion of Maryland. Refer to the CBC site to find a circle near you and count! It’s a great way to get outside, relax and bird during a busy time of year when there are so many other distractions. Check out Christmas Bird Counts for dates, contacts and compilers for the 2017 to early 2018 in Maryland and nearby area.

Audubon Christmas Bird Count Circles

Below are 2 map files (for loading into Google Earth) of Maryland and nearby Audubon Christmas Bird Count (CBC) circles.  A CBC count circle measures 15 miles in diameter. Latitude and Longitude of each count circle’s centerpoint were gathered from National Audubon Christmas Bird Count site.

Map 1 (A map showing where each count circle is in relation to neighboring counts)

Map 2 (Same as Map 1, except the blue shading is removed from circles, allowing easier exploration of terrain and habitat within an individual count circle.

These map files can also be downloaded directly to your computer and then opened in Google Earth. If you don’t have or never used Google Earth, it can be downloaded for free at Google Earth.

To open either map in Google Earth for a Windows-based computer: Place mouse cursor over the map link, right click the mouse and select “Save link as.” A new window should automatically open on your computer asking where you want to save the file. You can pick the “downloads” folder or another file folder of your choice and click on “save”. Find the file in the folder on your computer where you saved it, double click with mouse and it should open in Google Earth.

Special instruction to open either map in Google Earth using Internet Explorer: Place mouse cursor over the map link, right click the mouse and select “Save target as.” A new window should automatically open on your computer asking where you want to save the file. Before saving or opening the file, locate the file name and add .kml to the end of file name (or change the defaulted .xml to .kml) and change the file type from XML document to All Files. Once you have done this, click on “Save” and a new window will pop up giving you the option to click on “open.” The map should open in Google Earth.

For Mac users it’s essentially the same: Hold down the Control key and click the mouse pointer on the link. You may then choose to “Download Linked File” to “Downloads” or to “Download Linked File As …” (and then specify the folder and file name you wish to use).

NOTE: Information, files and text above provided by Andy Martin prior to Oct 31, 2015; afterward by Marilyn Veek