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Christmas Bird Count

About the Christmas Bird Count (CBC)

The CBC is an annual census of birds conducted across three continents. The all-volunteer effort, which is scheduled between December 14 and January 5, takes a snapshot of bird populations to monitor their status and distribution across the Western Hemisphere. You can learn more about the CBC at Audubon Christmas Bird Count.

About the Topeka CBC

The Topeka CBC is conducted within a 7.5 mile radius of the Capitol building with this area being divided into smaller sections. Volunteers who take part in the Christmas Bird Count are divided into teams with each team counting within their specific section.  The Topeka count teams spend an entire day, often starting before dawn, counting/recording all the birds seen or heard within their count area.  At the end of the day, the team members come together, usually with a potluck meal, to compile their results.

Count Day & Week

The Topeka CBC occurs on a Saturday in December, after the 14th.  See our calendar for the exact date. The official count period starts on Wednesday and ends the following Tuesday. Any birds seen during the count week but not on the count day are included as count week birds.

Participate in the Topeka CBC

There are two options for participating in the Topeka CBC. You can count the birds at your feeder on the count day or you can join a team and count birds in the field. You do not have to be an expert to participate. Beginners will be teamed up with more experienced birders. If you would like to join one of the CBC teams or would like to count birds at your feeder, contact us.

Counting Tools

  • This KDOT map of the City of Topeka (PDF) is a useful tool when planning your day of counting birds.  Besides streets, it shows bodies of water and parks.  To print on 4 pages, select "Page Scaling: Tile Large Pages" and "Tile Scale: 35%".
  • The Checklist Worksheet (PDF) is a one page sheet of the most commonly seen species for the Topeka CBC. Species are divided into subcategories to make it faster to record counts, while in the field. It also has space for to write in species not on the form.

Ten Year Summary

The following table summarizes CBC data from the past ten years. A count of zero indicates a bird seen during the count week but not on count day. Some counts were combined together such as races of dark-eyed juncos, forms of snow geese, and eastern/western meadowlarks.
 
Common Name 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 Grand Total
Greater White-fronted Goose 20 20
Snow Goose 8007 4 12 538 2505 2 4 693 418 1 12184
Ross's Goose 1 1 2
Cackling Goose 412 210 48 78 15 3 766
Canada Goose 17800 24163 16818 17191 12915 12774 4146 17689 6430 3512 133438
Trumpeter Swan 10 14 13 1 6 44
Tundra Swan 1 1
swan sp. 2 2
Wood Duck 2 4 6
Gadwall 110 46 28 29 29 70 194 272 152 36 966
American Wigeon 2 4 2 2 7 1 18
Mallard 1004 967 8339 2098 1844 1040 568 1538 620 1777 19795
Blue-winged Teal 6 6
Northern Shoveler 3 26 8 13 1 5 2 58
Northern Pintail 2 1 2 2 4 2 13
Green-winged Teal 2 2 25 10 39 128 206
Canvasback 2 1 5 8
Redhead 12 3 1 2 18
Ring-necked Duck 10 4 19 19 56 15 50 18 191
Greater Scaup 0 0
Lesser Scaup 11 2 11 9 65 6 1 21 10 136
Long-tailed Duck 1 1
Bufflehead 1 2 5 64 6 9 7 41 135
Common Goldeneye 58 48 24 54 87 108 200 221 84 79 963
Barrow's Goldeneye 1 1
Hooded Merganser 24 21 22 30 24 30 10 21 5 38 225
Common Merganser 15 396 35 3 8 24 6 4 8 499
Ruddy Duck 4 5 4 2 15
Ring-necked Pheasant 1 1
Wild Turkey 126 156 31 74 41 42 57 73 78 84 762
Northern Bobwhite 5 37 7 4 6 6 14 23 8 110
Pied-billed Grebe 21 5 5 23 8 10 2 1 24 99
Horned Grebe 2 2
Eared Grebe 1 1
American White Pelican 1 1 2
Double-crested Cormorant 1 1
Great Blue Heron (Blue form) 8 9 5 4 23 2 1 10 10 7 79
Turkey Vulture 1 1
Bald Eagle 11 19 10 7 12 6 6 7 5 6 89
Northern Harrier 13 12 10 17 14 3 2 1 7 79
Sharp-shinned Hawk 9 5 4 3 5 3 2 3 1 5 40
Cooper's Hawk 8 2 3 8 1 1 2 3 5 4 37
Accipiter sp. 1 1
Red-shouldered Hawk 1 1 1 3
Red-tailed Hawk 79 66 72 45 63 34 94 66 69 90 678
Buteo sp. 3 3
American Kestrel 29 26 20 14 27 11 28 28 18 20 221
Merlin 2 1 1 1 5
Peregrine Falcon 1 0 1 2
Prairie Falcon 1 1 1 1 4
American Coot 39 100 18 48 28 2 155 105 155 39 689
Killdeer 2 3 1 1 4 10 5 26
Wilson's Snipe 3 1 4
Bonaparte's Gull 4 75 30 109
Ring-billed Gull 185 136 32 60 317 20 302 311 454 1738 3555
Herring Gull 1 3 2 1 2 1 10
Lesser Black-backed Gull 1 1
gull sp. 4 98 15 112 269 60 10 568
Rock Pigeon 2423 1150 577 139 449 292 175 475 321 322 6323
Eurasian Collared-Dove 55 70 77 21 10 7 5 0 1 246
Mourning Dove 313 233 458 309 389 190 427 330 402 309 3360
Great Horned Owl 5 1 1 4 4 3 2 20
Barred Owl 5 1 2 2 1 3 4 1 19
Short-eared Owl 0 3 3
Belted Kingfisher 5 4 4 2 13 2 3 7 2 5 47
Red-headed Woodpecker 5 1 4 26 8 1 2 3 50
Red-bellied Woodpecker 127 70 51 39 90 56 65 43 57 56 654
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 13 12 6 3 4 5 6 5 5 4 63
Downy Woodpecker 97 72 50 74 77 54 62 54 66 63 669
Hairy Woodpecker 7 11 2 2 8 10 8 4 5 57
Northern Flicker 91 75 45 23 67 37 60 28 56 57 539
Pileated Woodpecker 1 1 1 1 4
Eastern Phoebe 1 1
Blue Jay 259 240 120 142 246 137 82 104 143 204 1677
American Crow 701 342 256 65 233 80 69 178 275 1358 3557
Horned Lark 25 615 392 25 99 21 30 1207
Black-capped Chickadee 171 135 99 61 130 94 112 103 215 264 1384
Tufted Titmouse 83 67 26 55 61 26 56 52 61 81 568
Red-breasted Nuthatch 3 0 1 17 4 11 2 19 57
White-breasted Nuthatch 48 29 33 25 46 23 39 31 52 43 369
Brown Creeper 65 23 11 11 20 13 23 13 24 43 246
Carolina Wren 18 43 42 45 27 11 14 29 34 263
Bewick's Wren 2 2
Winter Wren 3 5 5 2 4 2 1 1 3 26
Golden-crowned Kinglet 90 19 23 8 17 17 2 7 58 25 266
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 3 3 1 2 4 2 20 8 4 10 57
Eastern Bluebird 107 193 157 34 128 89 133 95 116 130 1182
Hermit Thrush 12 3 6 1 1 1 24
American Robin 8764 5205 5351 50 3644 1912 4371 958 797 2345 33397
Gray Catbird 1 1
Northern Mockingbird 7 9 7 4 2 3 4 3 1 40
Brown Thrasher 3 1 1 5
European Starling 10500 9343 3255 1872 4328 5765 4875 4694 1757 5326 51715
Cedar Waxwing 142 105 349 149 128 160 4 279 94 1410
Orange-crowned Warbler 1 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler 143 39 10 3 36 21 7 3 16 50 328
Spotted Towhee 5 2 1 3 0 5 16
Eastern Towhee 1 1 2
American Tree Sparrow 389 513 384 303 53 236 60 83 27 26 2074
Chipping Sparrow 4 4
Field Sparrow 2 1 3 2 8
Vesper Sparrow 1 1
Lark Sparrow 1 1 2
Fox Sparrow 5 4 2 2 6 19
Song Sparrow 47 26 37 43 57 55 16 7 21 33 342
Lincoln's Sparrow 2 1 4 2 1 1 11
Swamp Sparrow 3 1 2 3 9
White-throated Sparrow 130 158 133 26 155 123 42 54 95 73 989
Harris's Sparrow 205 116 120 176 81 194 30 43 58 151 1174
White-crowned Sparrow 1 2 46 26 2 3 80
Dark-eyed Junco 1458 1043 3326 1328 905 1335 372 473 430 729 11399
Lapland Longspur 655 80 2 60 29 826
Northern Cardinal 242 262 341 214 195 169 150 121 163 164 2021
Red-winged Blackbird 130 953 378 138 3183 181 87 61 78 279 5468
meadowlark sp. 103 18 136 97 172 98 127 52 164 58 1025
Rusty Blackbird 6 10 7 20 43
Brewer's Blackbird 1 22 23
Common Grackle 100 4 40 94 26 3 1 268
Great-tailed Grackle 80 55 135
Brown-headed Cowbird 6 8 1 6 21
Purple Finch 4 21 21 9 4 1 60
House Finch 139 155 128 120 85 290 116 205 121 353 1712
Pine Siskin 12 3 2 13 30
American Goldfinch 231 152 317 228 161 148 207 119 92 236 1891
House Sparrow 884 394 352 249 322 133 326 348 202 257 3467

Historic Summary by Species

The following table summarizes data by species over all years of the CBC. The first year, last year, years seen, and total birds seen are shown for each species.
 
Over the count years, the Topeka CBC has recorded a grand total 156 species. Results from all CBC's are availabe at http://cbc.audubon.org/cbccurrent/current_table.html
 
Common Name First Seen Last Seen Years Seen Total Seen
Greater White-fronted Goose 1962 2007 6 1526
Snow Goose 1956 2010 23 29575
Ross's Goose 2008 2009 2 2
Cackling Goose 2004 2010 6 766
Canada Goose 1948 2010 51 166936
goose sp. 1980 1980 1 32
Mute Swan 1999 1999 1 1
Trumpeter Swan 1994 2010 8 48
Tundra Swan 2010 2010 1 1
swan sp. 2003 2003 1 2
Wood Duck 1986 2008 9 19
Gadwall 1949 2010 40 2268
American Wigeon 1947 2010 23 70
American Black Duck 1947 2000 15 40
Mallard 1947 2010 64 77891
Blue-winged Teal 1971 2002 5 20
Cinnamon Teal 1996 1996 1 1
Northern Shoveler 1948 2010 20 297
Northern Pintail 1947 2010 34 97
Green-winged Teal 1952 2010 21 263
duck sp. 1982 1982 1 2
Canvasback 1948 2010 18 60
Redhead 1947 2010 23 149
Ring-necked Duck 1948 2010 33 898
Greater Scaup 1947 2010 3 2
Lesser Scaup 1947 2010 45 419
Long-tailed Duck 1994 2008 2 2
Bufflehead 1949 2010 35 393
Common Goldeneye 1949 2010 50 2157
Barrow's Goldeneye 2010 2010 1 1
Hooded Merganser 1947 2010 37 333
Common Merganser 1947 2010 58 3995
Red-breasted Merganser 1965 1988 3 2
Ruddy Duck 1947 2010 16 68
Ring-necked Pheasant 1952 2001 22 80
Greater Prairie-Chicken 1950 1982 17 207
Wild Turkey 1980 2010 23 996
Northern Bobwhite 1922 2010 64 3304
Common Loon 1965 1967 2 3
Pied-billed Grebe 1947 2010 38 170
Horned Grebe 1959 2006 3 4
Eared Grebe 1957 2010 5 8
Western Grebe 1981 1987 2 2
American White Pelican 1982 2005 5 5
Double-crested Cormorant 1990 2008 5 16
Great Blue Heron (Blue form) 1958 2010 39 236
Green Heron 1982 1982 1 1
Turkey Vulture 1947 2006 8 11
Bald Eagle 1951 2010 34 246
Northern Harrier 1919 2010 65 438
Sharp-shinned Hawk 1922 2010 49 122
Cooper's Hawk 1919 2010 41 94
Northern Goshawk 1967 1972 2 1
Accipiter sp. 1976 2001 4 4
Red-shouldered Hawk 1974 2010 4 4
Swainson's Hawk 1919 1919 1 1
Red-tailed Hawk 1919 2010 66 3117
Rough-legged Hawk 1921 1998 38 85
Buteo sp. 1977 2006 5 16
hawk sp. 1921 1921 1 4
American Kestrel 1919 2010 65 1263
Merlin 1955 2010 17 17
Peregrine Falcon 1950 2010 11 9
Prairie Falcon 1972 2006 9 7
falcon sp. 1980 1980 1 1
American Coot 1947 2010 53 1758
Killdeer 1952 2010 36 147
Wilson's Snipe 1966 2006 12 19
American Woodcock 1954 1954 1 1
Franklin's Gull 1971 1990 3 7
Bonaparte's Gull 1982 2006 6 166
Ring-billed Gull 1952 2010 40 6859
Herring Gull 1947 2010 27 140
Lesser Black-backed Gull 2010 2010 1 1
Glaucous Gull 1978 1978 1 0
gull sp. 1977 2007 16 944
tern sp. 1955 1955 1 1
Rock Pigeon 1973 2010 38 25514
Ringed Turtle-Dove 1992 1992 1 2
Eurasian Collared-Dove 2001 2010 9 246
Mourning Dove 1921 2010 66 9944
Eastern Screech-Owl 1920 1995 23 34
Great Horned Owl 1921 2009 59 277
Snowy Owl 1963 1974 2 1
Barred Owl 1948 2009 32 59
Long-eared Owl 1952 1980 8 16
Short-eared Owl 1921 2009 8 23
owl sp. 1980 1980 1 1
Belted Kingfisher 1948 2010 59 317
Red-headed Woodpecker 1950 2010 53 514
Red-bellied Woodpecker 1919 2010 67 2738
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 1919 2010 60 206
Downy Woodpecker 1919 2010 68 3081
Hairy Woodpecker 1919 2010 66 614
Northern Flicker 1919 2010 68 2425
Pileated Woodpecker 1999 2010 5 5
Eastern Wood-Pewee 1976 1976 1 1
Eastern Phoebe 2008 2008 1 1
Loggerhead Shrike 1947 1997 49 213
Northern Shrike 1959 1973 2 2
Blue Jay 1919 2010 68 9298
American Crow 1919 2010 68 14742
Horned Lark 1919 2009 60 9140
Black-capped Chickadee 1919 2010 68 10665
Tufted Titmouse 1919 2010 68 3135
Red-breasted Nuthatch 1919 2010 50 331
White-breasted Nuthatch 1919 2010 55 1359
Brown Creeper 1919 2010 66 729
Carolina Wren 1919 2010 50 567
Bewick's Wren 1964 2009 2 3
Winter Wren 1919 2010 31 61
Marsh Wren 1974 1974 1 1
Golden-crowned Kinglet 1921 2010 62 610
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 1922 2010 38 101
Eastern Bluebird 1919 2010 64 3050
Townsend's Solitaire 1921 1985 20 21
Hermit Thrush 1979 2010 9 29
American Robin 1950 2010 59 49217
American Robin 1919 1958 5 434
Gray Catbird 1956 2009 7 6
Northern Mockingbird 1948 2010 57 249
Brown Thrasher 1950 2007 39 53
European Starling 1947 2010 64 320384
Water Pipit 1967 1975 2 1
Bohemian Waxwing 1961 1972 2 26
Cedar Waxwing 1919 2010 55 9059
Orange-crowned Warbler 2009 2009 1 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler 1962 2010 22 366
Spotted Towhee 1947 2010 25 105
Eastern Towhee 1922 2010 30 73
American Tree Sparrow 1919 2010 68 17396
Chipping Sparrow 1997 2006 2 16
Field Sparrow 1947 2010 40 187
Vesper Sparrow 1954 2004 6 8
Lark Sparrow 2002 2007 2 2
Savannah Sparrow 1955 1980 9 28
Fox Sparrow 1948 2010 25 46
Song Sparrow 1919 2010 68 1559
Lincoln's Sparrow 1949 2010 27 49
Swamp Sparrow 1953 2010 14 29
White-throated Sparrow 1953 2010 47 1508
Harris's Sparrow 1919 2010 68 5929
White-crowned Sparrow 1948 2010 42 264
Dark-eyed Junco 1919 2010 68 40462
Lapland Longspur 1948 2009 35 5446
Smith's Longspur 1964 1968 2 4
Chestnut-collared Longspur 1972 1972 1 0
longspur sp. 1919 1920 2 28
Northern Cardinal 1919 2010 68 12214
Red-winged Blackbird 1955 2010 49 10963
meadowlark sp. 1919 2010 66 10969
Rusty Blackbird 1962 2010 14 233
Brewer's Blackbird 1947 2008 22 354
Common Grackle 1949 2010 50 1647
Great-tailed Grackle 1994 2003 3 143
Brown-headed Cowbird 1951 2010 34 877
Pine Grosbeak 1984 1984 1 2
Purple Finch 1948 2010 43 338
House Finch 1989 2010 22 5153
Red Crossbill 1949 1972 7 155
crossbill sp. 1919 1919 1 35
Pine Siskin 1919 2008 46 1271
Lesser Goldfinch 1981 1981 1 1
American Goldfinch 1919 2010 67 10167
Evening Grosbeak 1972 1992 4 2
House Sparrow 1947 2010 64 52078

Historic Summary by Year

The first known published Topeka Christmas Bird Count was done on December 22, 1919. Since then, documented records of a Christmas Bird Count exist for Topeka for every year, except the years between 1923 through 1946. The following table summarizes observers, birds seen and species seen by year for all Topeka CBC's.
 
Year Date Observers Birds Seen Species Seen
2010  12/18/2010 24 56382 92
2009  12/19/2009 22 48480 86
2008  12/20/2008 26 43095 84
2007  12/15/2007 31 26717 76
2006  12/16/2006 21 34025 87
2005  12/17/2005 23 26350 79
2004  12/18/2004 22 18537 71
2003  12/20/2003 24 30291 71
2002  12/14/2002 25 14937 73
2001  12/15/2001 32 21042 81
2000  12/16/2000 22 23466 76
1999  12/18/1999 26 22920 79
1998  12/19/1998 26 12405 77
1997  12/20/1997 24 12830 69
1996  12/28/1996 24 18178 76
1995  12/16/1995 34 19221 84
1994  12/17/1994 36 23633 81
1993  12/18/1993 27 12256 71
1992  12/19/1992 24 11911 81
1991  12/21/1991 43 13941 70
1990  12/15/1990 33 17521 84
1989  12/16/1989 32 12920 81
1988  12/17/1988 34 8822 70
1987  12/19/1987 32 28373 73
1986  12/20/1986 30 10081 62
1985  12/21/1985 37 12028 59
1984  12/15/1984 40 10072 61
1983  12/17/1983 42 15522 71
1982  12/18/1982 25 8200 78
1981  12/19/1981 29 8420 77
1980  12/20/1980 33 21156 76
1979  12/15/1979 32 15124 65
1978  12/16/1978 29 20793 73
1977  12/17/1977 25 14158 77
1976  12/18/1976 33 8505 66
1975  12/20/1975 25 14782 82
1974  12/28/1974 43 21527 66
1973  12/22/1973 30 14018 74
1972  12/23/1972 44 11798 67
1971  12/18/1971 19 15062 72
1970  12/26/1970 25 7624 58
1969  12/27/1969 7 76315 43
1968  12/28/1968 13 4312 48
1967  12/30/1967 11 4285 63
1966  12/26/1966 20 7687 52
1965  01/01/1966 14 3523 70
1964  12/27/1964 16 12350 60
1963  12/28/1963 18 4689 52
1962  12/29/1962 12 2199 52
1961  12/30/1961 14 2944 54
1960  12/31/1960 17 7094 61
1959  01/02/1960 16 2252 51
1958  12/28/1958 16 7065 56
1957  12/28/1957 22 6987 64
1956  12/29/1956 18 2671 69
1955  01/01/1956 21 6099 59
1954  01/01/1955 27 5740 69
1953  12/27/1953 32 4247 61
1952  12/21/1952 25 5223 68
1951  12/30/1951 30 5991 51
1950  12/31/1950 22 1424 56
1949  12/26/1949 10 2371 59
1948  01/02/1949 19 3315 57
1947  12/28/1947 8 1154 50
1922  12/27/1922 6 148 21
1921  12/27/1921 3 467 30
1920  12/24/1920 2 340 18
1919  12/22/1919 2 449 33