Christmas Bird Count

A woodcut style illustration showing tall trees in a narrow canyon with birds
2023 Christmas Bird Count Graphic

Kadi Franson

Annual Christmas Bird Count

Date: Saturday, December 16 2023
Time: Beginning at 8:00 a.m. We typically begin birding by 8:45 a.m. and reconvene for lunch at noon.
Location: Starting at the Visitor Center for information and team formations.
To sign up: Contact Ranger Peter Densmore at or by calling 435-834-4744

Whether you are a "bird enthusiast" or someone who just likes nature and the outdoors, please join Bryce Canyon National Park in continuing the
Christmas Bird Count tradition. Several routes are available from strenuous hikes to easy drives - we can match your skills/abilities with other birders to make the day fun and successful. What better way to celebrate the holiday than to actively give to the conservation of national treasures - the life within our National Parks?


Why Count Birds?

As the holiday season approaches, volunteers across the country will celebrate the gift of natural wonder by taking part in the Annual Christmas Bird Count (CBC). Administered by the National Audubon Society, the event is the longest running Citizen Science survey in the world. For many, counting winter birds has become a family tradition. Holiday spirit and love of birds has compelled generations - and now invites us- to don the cap of citizen scientist and contribute to conservation.

The Christmas Bird Count was started by Frank Chapman and other conservationists on Christmas Day of 1900. Over the years, the effort has evolved into a valuable tool for monitoring winter bird populations in North America. The CBC database, containing over 100 years of data, is accessible to the public and provides critical information for perusal or scientific research. Data gathered by caring citizens will inform policies that protect endangered populations and crucial habitats. Educational outreach can help individuals or organizations make informed decisions about conservation. The Audubon Society lists the following three goals for the CBC:

  • Engage citizens in gathering information.

  • Empower citizens to take action on behalf of places important to them and important to wildlife.

  • Foster a new culture of conservation

The CBC aligns with Bryce Canyon National Park's efforts to reduce the impacts of climate change. Jon Jarvis, former National Park Service Director, said, "I think that climate change is the greatest threat to the integrity of the National Park System that we have ever faced."

The Audubon Society's Bird and Climate Change Analysis drew on CBC data to show how the ranges of birds are shifting. The report was so compelling that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) listed the Christmas Bird Count as a primary indicator of climate change.

Gathering Data

Both park visitors and rangers contribute to a scientific record of the park's winter bird populations by participating in the count. Every year, the count takes place within a 15-mile diameter circle surrounding the park area. A general summary of CBC statistics is given in the table below, and more detailed reports are accessed at the Audubon website (Bryce Canyon's Count Code is UTBC).

Ninety different birds have been recorded in the species list for the Bryce CBC circle. In 2020 two dusky grouse and an acorn woodpecker were seen for the first time during a count.

Two ravens on snowtop hoodoos conspiring. Brian B. Roanhorse 2015
Two ravens conspiring on snow-top hoodoos in the Bryce Amphitheater.

Brian B. Roanhorse

Last updated: November 29, 2023

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

P.O Box 640201
Bryce, UT 84764


435 834-5322
Phones are answered and messages returned as soon as possible as staffing allows.

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