Hopewell Christmas Bird Count

Hopewell Christmas Count (CBC)

What is the Christmas Bird Count?

The Christmas Bird Count is a long-running citizen science program of the National Audubon Society. Founded by ornithologist Frank M. Chapman the first count was on Christmas Day 1900. It is an early-winter bird census, where volunteers cover designated sectors of a fifteen mile (24-km) diameter circle, counting every bird they see or hear all day. All individual CBC’s are conducted in the period from 14 December to 5 January (inclusive dates) each season, and each count is conducted in one calendar day. The data collected by observers over the past century allow researchers, conservation biologists, and interested individuals to study the long-term health and status of bird populations across North America. The Hopewell CBC is held the first Sunday following December 14 each year.  A map of the Hopewell circle appears below.

How To Participate

CBC participants are organized into groups by the organizer or Compiler of each Count. Each group covers a specific area of the fifteen mile diameter circle. Anyone is welcome to participate, regardless of experience level. The Compiler arranges field parties to match new participants with seasoned CBC veterans. If you wish to participate please contact Arun Bose arun1bose@gmail.com, the Hopewell CBC Compiler.


The Hopewell Christmas Bird Count had its beginnings in 1929 with a Henrico County Christmas Census conducted by C.O. Handley at Curles Neck Farm. In 1932 the census area also included portions of Richmond as well as Curles Neck Farm. In 1944 the census area was expanded to include north and west Richmond, Bryan and Byrd Parks, tracts along the James River opposite Windsor Farms, the Richmond city dock and Curles Neck. In 1945 it was known as the Richmond Christmas Census, and in 1953 became the Hopewell Christmas Bird Count. The count has been held almost every year since 1944, and from 1947-1984 was compiled by the late Fred R. Scott.