Christmas Bird Count

Header Photo: Pileated Woodpecker, Colleen Lawlor, Left: American Tree Sparrow, Cory Ross, Right: Black-capped Chickadee, Colleen Lawlor.

Bald Eagles at the Hinsdale Setbacks, photo by Cory Ross

2021 Bird Count

Saturday, December 18, 2021

The 60th Brattleboro Christmas Bird Count was held on Saturday, December 18th, 2021. This event was part of the 122nd annual National Audubon Society's Christmas Bird Count. This project is one of the longest-running citizen science projects. The data collected from this event is used to monitor changes in populations and ranges of North American bird species. The Brattleboro Area count was first held in 1903, and has been held nearly annually since 1963.

Red Crossbills photographed by Cherrie Corey

A Hooded Merganser, by Cory Ross

An Eastern Bluebird By Cory Ross

A Red-bellied Woodpecker by Colleen Lawlor

2021 Christmas Bird Count Summary

The 2021 Bird Count took place under mild temperatures and cloudy skies, with accumulating snow, ice rain and rain developing as the day progressed. An unusually mild fall resulted in abundant open water on lakes, ponds and rivers. With plenty of water to surveil, teams found many of our waterbirds this year, including Mute Swan, Belted Kingfisher, Great Blue Heron, Mallards, Black Duck, both Hooded and Common Mergansers and Common Goldeneyes.

Notable absences included Herring Gull (present on 40/59 previous counts), Northern Goshawk (has not been observed since 2012), as well as Horned Lark (present on 33 previous counts). New high counts were established for Common Merganser, Bald Eagle, Common Raven, Carolina Wren and Red Crossbill. Other unusual observations included only the second Eastern Screech Owl found in Brattleboro count history (found by Bob Martell during nocturnal birding), a count-week Turkey Vulture, a winter wren (only the sixth time in count history) and 10 red-winged blackbirds in Hinsdale (highest count since 1989.)


In total, 54 observers found 5,673 individual birds of 60 species. The 30-year average for birds on the count is 3991.5 birds and the 30-year average for number of species seen is 52.7 species. The 60 species observed is the highest total on the Brattleboro count since 2008.


2021 CBC Chart

Donald and Ruth Hart birding in Marlboro, picture by Cherrie Corey


Ruth Hard looks for birds, by Cherrie Corey


Northern Mockingbird by Colleen Lawlor