Buffalo Bayou Christmas Bird Count

Add to over a century of citizen science data by participating in the annual Buffalo Bayou Christmas Bird Count. This Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is part of an ongoing program coordinated by the National Audubon Society. Each year, tens of thousands of volunteers in North and South America gather to count early-winter bird populations. The results are compiled into a database that is shared with federal and state authorities and used to study the long-term health and status of bird populations across North America.

The Buffalo Bayou CBC, which includes the Arboretum, averages 120 species, and it has become one of the most popular Christmas Bird Counts in Texas in recent years.

Follow the links below to learn more.

2019 Christmas Bird Count Information

Saturday, December 28, 2019
6 am – 9 am and 9 am – 12 pm
No registration necessary!

This year’s Buffalo Bayou Christmas Bird Count will take place on Saturday, December 28th. Birders of all skill levels are welcome! At the Arboretum, we will run the count in two “shifts.” You are welcome to come just for one shift, or you can do both.

The first shift will be from 6 – 9 am. Meet at the volunteer entrance on the eastern side of the Administration Building at 6 am. You’ll sign in, grab a coffee, and get ready to head out to the Meadow at 6:15 am to look for American Woodcock. Then we’ll bird the trails until 9 am when we head back to the building for a break.

The second shift will be from 9 am – Noon. Meet at the volunteer entrance on the eastern side of the Administration Building at 9 am and join us for more birding as we cover the rest of the site. At noon we will meet back at the building again to regroup and rest. We are usually done by then, so you are welcome to leave at this point. However, sometimes we do need to cover a few more spots in the afternoon, so if you are willing to stay for a little longer we’d welcome your help.

We will have a limited number of binoculars to borrow, but we encourage you to bring your own. Also bring your camera, a water bottle/travel mug, snacks, and weather-appropriate clothing. The count leaders will be keeping eBird checklists as we go, so all you have to do is give us your eBird username and we’ll share the lists with you!


The CBC is made possible by volunteers just like you! The count is free and open to birders of all skill levels. There are two ways to participate in the Buffalo Bayou Count – as part of a field team or as a feeder/yard watcher. Click here to learn more and get involved!


The Buffalo Bayou CBC covers a 15-mile diameter circle on the west side of Houston. It is centered at Houston Audubon’s Edith L. Moore Nature Sanctuary in the Memorial/Wilcrest vicinity. The count circle extends from the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center on the east to beyond Hwy 6 on the west, and from the Southwest Freeway at West Belt on the south to FM 529 near Jersey Village on the north. In addition to the Arboretum, the count circle also includes Addicks & Barker Reservoirs, Bear Creek Park, and parts of Buffalo Bayou.


Zip Codes included in the Buffalo Bayou CBC Circle: 77036, 77042, 77043, 77056, 77057, 77063, 77072, 77077, 77079, 77080 and portions of 77008, 77024, 77027, 77031, 77040, 77041, 77055, 77071, 77074, 77081, 77082, 77083, 77084, 77092, 77094, 77099, 77401

Note: If you have any questions or comments, or would like to participate in a different portion of the Buffalo Bayou CBC, please email the count compilers.
Thank you for your interest!