Christmas Bird Count

Join the Christmas Bird Count (CBC) for a fun day identifying and counting birds seen in designated 15-mile diameter circles. This long-standing program of the National Bird Alliance of Oregon Society is lending important insight into the health and status of bird populations across North America.

Begun in 1900 as an alternative to the traditional hunts of anything that flew during Christmas Day, hundreds of Christmas Bird Counts are now conducted throughout the Western Hemisphere, and they continue to contribute valuable scientific data to the longest existing records of bird population trends. An amazing bibliography of Christmas Bird Count research and the entire historical record can be found here. The Portland CBC has been conducted since 1926 and helps inform Bird Alliance of Oregon’s urban conservation efforts.

Partners: National Bird Alliance of Oregon Society

This year’s Christmas Bird Count is on December 30, 2023. Please see list of Area Leaders below and connect with them directly. Thank you!

Birding at Oaks Bottom

About the Survey

  • Survey instructions: You can participate in the count as a ‘field observer’ or as a ‘feeder watcher’. Contact one of the Area Leaders of the CBC near you (listed below) to sign up as a field observer. To be a feeder watcher, download and record your findings on the Feeder Watch form.
  • When: The Portland CBC is typically scheduled for the last Saturday during the survey window (14 Dec. to 5 Jan.). Information on other nearby CBC counts can be found here  — and it’ll be updated regularly as counts are added, so check often!
  • Where: Check out the detailed CBC Google map to view the areas and subareas of the Portland CBC to see where you’d like to participate. Surveys are typically done by a team of 2 or more people assigned to one or more sub-areas.
  • Time Commitment: You can commit to ½ day (~7am to lunchtime) or a full day (~7am to ~5pm or whenever you complete your area)
  • Reporting: Data is provided to the Area Leader by the end of the day.


Volunteer Requirements

  • Trainings: No training is required. All participants meet with their respective Area Leader at the start of the day for orientation.  
  • Birding skills: At least one member of the team must be able to identify Pacific Northwest birds by sight and sound. Less experienced team members can spot and count birds, record data for the bird counters & learn from the more experienced team members.  
  • Equipment: Must have your own binoculars. At some sites it is advisable to have a spotting scope. Area Leaders can let you know. We will provide maps and dataforms.
  • Field conditions: Field observers must be able to walk 2 or more miles at a variety of locations in the Portland Metro region. Feederwatchers watch birds at home.
  • Transportation to and from the site is your responsibility. We recommend arranging carpooling with other participants if possible.

COVID-19 Guidelines

Because of ongoing Covid-19 risks, the following guidelines will be followed throughout the count area. Please read carefully before committing to participating:

    1. Masks are welcome but optional while participants are outside in the field. Face masks are required indoors or while carpooling together with any person outside your own social “pod.”
    2. We will comply with all current state and municipal COVID-19 regulations. Current transmission rates within the count circle are low; if local transmission rates rise, we may adopt stricter requirements.
    3. Please note that field team participation may be limited at the sole discretion of area leaders, in order to provide for safe conditions in the field. We encourage anyone not able to join a field team to participate as a feeder watcher instead!

Christmas Bird Count Area Leaders

CBC Area Contact
Area 1
Columbia Riparian
Brodie Cass Talbott
Area 2
Southeast Portland
Joe Liebezeit
971-222-6121 or 503-329-6026
Area 3
Lake Oswego
Lynn Herring
Area 4
Lori Hennings
Area 5
Northwest Hills/Forest Park
Colleen McDaniel


If you have questions contact Joe Liebezeit ( and Candace Larson (