118th Christmas Bird Count – Announcement

Written by on December 15, 2017

Press Release –  Each Christmas season tens of thousands of volunteers will count and record each individual bird and bird species they encounter during one calendar day, within a 15-mile diameter circle. This year, the Audubon Christmas Bird Count will mobilize over 72,000 volunteer bird counters in more than 2,500 locations across the Western Hemisphere.  The censuses provide valuable data about the number of bird species and numbers of each species occurring within set geographic areas on an early winter day. The results are compiled into the longest running database in ornithology, representing over a century of unbroken data on trends of early-winter bird populations across the Americas.  The Audubon Christmas Bird Count utilizes the power of volunteers to track the health of bird populations at a scale that scientists could never accomplish alone. 

To date over 300 peer-reviewed articles have resulted from analysis done with Christmas Bird Count data. Bird-related citizen science efforts are also critical to understanding how birds are responding to a changing climate. This documentation is what enabled Audubon scientists to discover that 314 species of North American birds are threatened by global warming as reported in Audubon’s groundbreaking Birds and Climate Change Study.



 The tradition of counting birds combined with modern technology and mapping is enabling researchers to make discoveries that were not possible in earlier decades. 

 Birders of all ages are welcome to contribute to this fun, nationwide citizen science project, which provides ornithologists with a crucial snapshot of our native bird populations during the winter months.  The volunteers will break up into small parties and will follow assigned routes, which may change little from year to year, counting every bird they see. If you are a beginning birder, on most counts you will be able to join a group that includes at least one experienced birdwatcher.  Feeder watchers and backyard watchers are needed too.

Links to Audubon’s web page on CBCs are below, within these web pages you can find a map with the location of CBC circles shown for all of the Americas.




What to bring?

Participants should bring lunch, drinking water, warm clothing and footwear.  Binoculars, field guides and spotting scopes are suggested, for those who have them.  The five-dollar fee has been dropped to encourage more participation and the annual published report, (American Birds) previously available in paper has been made digital. 

Links to past CBC season summaries:


Besides the National Audubon web pages and our own Prairie Hills Audubon web page you can visit other ornithological or birding groups web pages for more data on CBCs.

South Dakota:




North Dakota:






There will likely be at least 11 Christmas Bird Counts in West River of SD and the Black Hills of Wyoming, 10 of which will likely be official counts that contribute data to the National Audubon Society’s  (NAS) database.

PINE RIDGE RESERVATION, SD, Friday, December 15, 2017,

The Pine Ridge CBC will be Friday, December 15. We will meet at 7am in the parking lot of Our Lady of the Sioux Catholic Church in Oglala. (Note the change from previous years’ meeting location.) 

Contact: petermhill@yahoo.com, 605-441-9346. 

 STURGIS, SD, Saturday, December 16th, 2017,

Birders will meet at Sturgis McDonalds at 7:30 AM for territory assignments. There will be a post count, compilation potluck at 12067 Crook City Rd., Whitewood 

Contact:  Vic Fondy – (605) 269-2553, rotciv31@gmail.com

PIERRE/FT. PIERRE, SD, Saturday, December 16th, 2017,

 Pre-count registration will be Thursday, December 14, at First United Methodist Church Media Center Room (117 N. Central) at 7:30 P.M. Count results will be turned in at Perkins restaurant in Fort Pierre between 5:30 P.M. and 6:30 P.M. 

. Contact: Ruben D. Mares_(605) 224-5517, rmares@fs.fed.us

WIND CAVE NATIONAL PARK, SD, Sunday Dec 17th, 2017,

 Meet at the Wind Cave Park Visitor Center at 7:45 am and also at the end of the day (~ 4:15pm). Birders meet in the Visitor Center for a potluck, to warm up, chow down and to compile the bird lists from the days’ activities.  

Contact: Barbara Muenchau (745-1150), Barbara_Muenchau@nps.gov, or Dan Roddy, (605) 745-1157, dan_roddy@nps.gov,

RAPID CITY, SD  – Sunday Dec 17th, 2017

Contact: Gene Hess: gene@neopaleo.net, leave a message at 605-791-0630.

PIEDMONT, SD – Tuesday 19th, 2017

 Contact: Gene Hess:  gene@neopaleo.net, leave a message at 605-791-0630.

SHADEHILL, SD Tuesday, Dec. 19th, 2017

 Contact: Meghan Dinkins, meghanfdinkins@fs.fed.us, Meghan’s cell: 760-505-1971

HOT SPRINGS, Saturday Dec. 23rd, 2017,

Saturday Dec. 23rd 7:00 at “Daily Bread Bakery” in Hot Springs SD for route assignments

Count off at “Pizza Hut” in Hot Springs 5:00ish

Contact: Duane Weber – (605) 673-2032, duane_weber@nps.gov, mmcurtin@gwtc.net

BADLANDS NATIONAL PARK, SD, Thursday Dec. 28, 2017

Meet at the national park’s Ben Reifel Visitor Center at 7:30 AM for route assignments.

Contact: Nancy Drilling, dril0008@gmail.com, drillingn@yahoo.com,

SPEARFISH, SD, December 28th, 2017,

 Meet at McDonalds at 7:30 for territory assignment.

Contact: Daniel Bjerke, 605-381-0493, dlbjerke@midco.net

SUNDANCE, WY, December 30th, 2017

Contact: Jennifer Adams at (307) 290-0457, ravenssong18@gmail.com


Eastern SD


Madison,  (Dec.15th, 2017)), Contact: Jeffrey S. Palmer, jeff.palme@dsu.edu, (605) 256-5190

Sioux Falls, (Dec.16th, 2017), Contact: Chris Anderson, canderson1@sio.midco.net, 605-254-2550

Aberdeen (Dec.16th, 2017), Contact: Gary T Olson  – olsonfam@nvc.net, 605-885-6284

Yankton, (Dec. 17th 2017), Contact: Roger Dietrich – rogerd@iw.net, 1947rogerd@gmail.com, (605) 660-6247,

Waubay N.W.R., (Dec. 19th, 2017), Contact: Laura Hubers, Laura_Hubers@fws.gov, lauraluh46@hotmail.com, (605) 947-4521 Ext. 116,

Brookings, (Dec. 23rd, 2017), Contact: Nelda Holden, neldaholden@hotmail.com, (605) 692-8278, (date changed)

Mitchell, (Dec. 26th, 2017) – Contact: Jeff Hansen, jeff.hansen.sd@gmail.com, 785-806-6917

Canton, (Dec 30th, 2017), Contact: Chris Anderson, canderson1@sio.midco.net, 605-254-2550

Sand Lake N.W.R., (January 3rd, 2018), Contact: Jay Petersen, jay_peterson@fws.gov, SLNWR – (605) 885-6262 

Lake Andes, (January 4th, 2018) – Contact: Mick Hanan, mick_hanan@fws.gov, (605) 487-7603 Ext. 107,


Christmas bird counts in other states, that are near enough that SD folks, may be interested in them – especially those of us in western SD:


Ponca State Park, NE (Dec. 14th, 2017), Bill Huser, BHuser@suebeehoney.com, 712-574-3107 

Harrison NE, (Dec. 27th, 2017), Kathy DeLara, renosmom@charter.net, Bruce Walgren, piranga@bresnan.net

 Crawford NE &  (Dec. 28th, 2017), Kathy DeLara, renosmom@charter.net, Bruce Walgren, piranga@bresnan.net

Scottsbluff, NE,  (Dec. 29th, 2017), Alice Kenitz, 308-436-2959, akenitz@prairieweb.com,

Lake McConaughy, NE (Dec 30th, 2017) Stephen Dinsmore, cootjr@iastate.edu, 515-294-1348


Medora, ND, Theodore Roosevelt N.P. (South Unit) (Dec.16th, 2017)), Kevin A. Melzo, kevin_melzo@nps.gov, (701) 623-4730, ext. 1417 

Tewaukon N.W.R., (Dec. 22nd, 2017) Kristine Askerooth, kristine_askerooth@fws.gov

Bismarck-Mandan (Dec. 31st, 2017), Corey Ellingson, crackerjackbirder@bis.midco.net


Casper, WY, (Dec. 16th, 2017), Contact: Chris Michelson, 307-234-8726, michelsonce@aol.com,

Kane, WY, (Dec. 16th, 2017), Contact: Neil or Jennifer Miller, 307-568-9346, njmiller@tctwest.net

Sheridan, WY, (Dec. 16th, 2017), Contact: Liz Howell, Lizhowell345@gmail.com,

Guernsey/Ft. Laramie, WY, (Dec. 17th, 2017) Contact: Jane Dorn, 307-640-4002, linglebird@yahoo.com

Buffalo, WY, (Dec. 17th, 2017), Contact:  Deane Bjerke, dbjerke@bresnan.net, 307-684-2798, 307-620-5772

Gillette, WY, (Dec. 21st, 2017), Contact: Dustin Downey, 504-453-4124, ddowney@audubon.org,

Sundance, WY, (Dec 30th, 2017), Contact: Jen at 307-283-2467, ravenssong18@gmail.com

Story-Bighorn, WY, (Dec. 30th, 2017) Contact: Ariel Downing:  at 307-751-2303, bandgeek832@gmail.com,

Bates Hole,WY, (?), Contact: Charles Scott, charlesscott@wyoming.com


Sioux City, IA,  (Dec. 16th, 2017), Contact: Jerry Probst, probstsuebee@aol.com, 712-490-8256,

Westfield, IA,  (Dec. 21st, 2017), Contact: Daniel Smith, dan.smith446@gmail.com, Dottie Zales, 712-540-0952, zales66@hotmail.com 


Hendricks, (MN)  (?), Contact: William A. Schultze, bcbrats@itctel.com

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