A Wonderful 123rd Annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count

Central Park "Ramble" Christmas Bird Count group looks to the trees to see how many birds they can find at that particular spot. Photo: NYC Audubon

Katherine Chen | December 23, 2022:

Thank you to all who joined NYC Audubon for the 123rd Annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count on December 18. It was an extraordinary Sunday, with over 200 community scientists fanning out across Manhattan and Northern New Jersey for bird surveys at 35 different locations—seven within Central Park alone!

The over 120 years of data collected by Christmas Bird Count volunteers is invaluable, providing a fundamental way for scientists to understand the long-term health of bird populations—and has contributed to several recent impactful reports on bird decline in North America. 

While we are still sifting through the data from all of our counts, here are some initial highlights reported by volunteer counters:

  • Tufted Titmice are back! After not seeing a single one last year, volunteers in Central Park counted 765 titmice throughout the park on Sunday. It’s truly remarkable and an incredible example of why monitoring annual trends through the Christmas Bird Count is so powerful. Other notable sightings in Central Park included three different owl species (Great Horned, Northern Saw-Whet, and Barred) and a Common Raven. View a complete list (PDF) of all Central Park species counted here.  
  • The tiny Madison Square Park beat Central Park in the number of warbler species found! While the Common Yellowthroat was found in both parks, volunteer counters at Madison Square Park also observed an Ovenbird, giving the park a leg up against Central Park on total warblers found Sunday at 2-1. A feather in Madison Square Park’s cap!  
  • A Bald Eagle was counted on Randall’s Island! No longer as rare as it once was due to conservation efforts like the banning of the pesticide DDT and the Endangered Species Act, seeing a Bald Eagle is still a special experience. 
  • New count locations! Volunteers counted birds at sites not previously covered in Christmas Bird Counts including Madison Square Park and Hudson Yards, demonstrating the importance of urban green spaces of all sizes to serve as important wildlife habitat.
  • More accessible counts! NYC Audubon was pleased this year to host our first “Chill Birding” Count in Madison Square Park—where a leisurely-paced count on paved, level paths in a small park made bird counting accessible to a wide audience. 
One of the 765 Tufted Titmice counted in Central Park at the 123rd Annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count. Photo: NYC Audubon

Be on the lookout for more
community science activities that need your help. NYC Audubon's conservation work to protect birds and their habitats in the City depends on the diligent work of community science volunteers like yourself. Please consider joining us in other projects this spring, like collision monitoring and Horseshoe Crab monitoring.

Check out our Christmas Bird Count photo album on Flickr and relive an incredible day. 

Thanks again to everyone who volunteered this year. In addition to all the help of our volunteer participants and count leaders (too many to name here!) we’d also like to send a huge thank you to our partner organizations for helping us conduct counts, including NYC Department of Parks & Recreation and the Urban Park Rangers, Central Park Conservancy, the Lower East Side Ecology Center, Randall's Island Park Alliance, and Madison Square Park Conservancy. Without all of your help, the Christmas Bird Count would not have been such a success!

We look forward to sharing wider results from the entire New Jersey-Lower Hudson Count Circle once was have compiled all the data. But for now, please take a look at the complete tally from Central Park below!

Katherine Chen,
Community Science Manager
NYC Audubon


123RD ANNUAL AUDUBON CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT IN CENTRAL PARK RESULTS (Updated Jan 10, 2023)


Canada Goose | 206
Wood Duck | 1
American Black Duck | 2
Mallard | 204
Northern Shoveler | 260
Bufflehead | 13
Hooded Merganser | 18
Ruddy Duck | 63
Double-crested Cormorant | 4
Cooper's Hawk | 9
Red-tailed Hawk | 15
American Kestrel | 3
Peregrine Falcon | 3
American Coot | 10
Ring-billed Gull | 110
Herring Gull | 67
Great Black-backed Gull | 17
Rock Pigeon | 740
Mourning Dove | 139
Great Horned Owl* | 1
Northern Saw-whet Owl | 1
Red-bellied Woodpecker | 56
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker | 34
Downy Woodpecker | 26
Hairy Woodpecker | 2
Northern Flicker | 8
Blue Jay | 228
American Crow | 41
Common Raven | 1
Black-capped Chickadee | 43
Tufted Titmouse | 765
Red-breasted Nuthatch | 3
White-breasted Nuthatch | 64
Brown Creeper | 1
Carolina Wren | 6
Winter Wren | 2
Ruby-crowned Kinglet | 4
Hermit Thrush | 3
American Robin | 186
Gray Catbird | 1
Brown Thrasher | 1
Northern Mockingbird | 7
European Starling | 373
Common Yellowthroat* | 1
Fox Sparrow | 11
Dark-eyed Junco | 101
White-throated Sparrow | 933
Song Sparrow | 4
Eastern Towhee | 3
Northern Cardinal | 58
Red-winged Blackbird | 1
Common Grackle | 551
House Finch | 7
American Goldfinch | 9
House Sparrow | 1335

Birds listed with an asterisk have been seen on rare occasions within the last fifteen years.

COUNT WEEK BIRDS FOR CENTRAL PARK:
Barred Owl
Brown-headed Cowbird
Bald Eagle
Great Blue Heron
Red-shouldered Hawk

Please note: The Central Park species list above was updated with slight corrections on January 10, 2023. The Red-breasted Nuthatch, which originally was reported as being counted once, was actually counted three times. The Eastern Towhee, which was originally included as a Count Week bird, has been removed.