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UPDATED: December 20, 2020 – Christmas Bird Counts – Sunday – All Day

December 20, 2020


The 2020 Hartford Christmas Bird Count (CBC) will be held on Sunday, December 20th.

Our Count is now scheduled on a Sunday to allow for better (and safer) access to numerous areas along the Connecticut River because hunting takes place on Saturdays, but not on Sundays in those areas.  December 20 th is now less than three weeks away!

We continue to remain in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Fortunately, birding is an activity that is easily done with social distancing and safety protocols in mind.  Our 2019 Hartford Summer Bird Count saw record participation in terms of numbers of participants in the field.  If the weather cooperates, I hope that we will also see a strong effort on December 20 th.

There are safety protocols that we recommend you follow if you plan to participate in this year’s Count.  Please do not carpool unless you are traveling with members of your own family.  In the field, please maintain proper social distancing and we ask that group sizes be limited to five or fewer people in the same immediate area.  Masks are encouraged if there are others around.

Finally, we will not be holding a captains’ meeting this year.  Captains will be emailing their reports to the Compiler, who will then total the observations from each of the Count’s twelve areas.

FYI:   For those new to birding or to the Christmas Bird Count, this is the longest running of all citizen-science surveys.  The Count was begun in 1900 as an alternative to the Christmas hunt during which thousands of birds were shot for dinner or merely for sport.  Christmas Bird Counts provide valuable information on trends in bird populations over time.  The objective of the Count is to census all birds within a seven and one-half mile radius of Hartford’s Old State House on a single day.  As such, all of Hartford, West Hartford and East Hartford are within the Count circle, as well as portions of Windsor, Bloomfield, Avon, Farmington, Newington, Wethersfield, New Britain, Rocky Hill, Glastonbury, Manchester and South Windsor.  Participants may count birds for an hour in their own yard if they live within the Count circle.  Or, they may join a small team that may venture into the field for part or all of the day, scouring reservoir lands, agricultural fields or parks and woodland areas.  Some birders even go out at night in an attempt to call in owls.  Birds that are seen or heard may be counted.  All individual birds rather than just species of birds are counted.  Three days prior to and three days following the Count Day make up what is known as Count Week.  Birds seen during the Count Week, but not on Count Day, are considered “Count Week” birds and are noted as to species, but are not added to the total.

The Harford Count is divided into 12 areas, each with a captain.  Captains and their email addresses are as follows:

Area #1 South Windsor (Station 43 and surrounding area) – Paul Desjardins  –  paul.desjardins2@gmail.com,

Area # South Windsor (upland areas) – Patrice Favreau  –    kestrel.pf@gmail.com

Area #3 Manchester – Maggie Peretto  –  wings.mp@gmail.com

Area #4 Glastonbury – Andrew Dasinger  –   amdasinger@gmail.com

Area #5 Wethersfield/Rocky Hill – Steve Kotchko –  smkbard@cox.net

Area #6 Hartford – Jay Kaplan –   Jaybrd49@aol.com

Area #7 Newington – Sylvia Halkin –  halkin@ccsu.edu

Area #8 Avon/Farmington – Sarah Faulkner –   sffaulkner@comcast.net  

Area #9 West Hartford – Brian Toal –     briantoal@sbcglobal.net

Area #10 Bloomfield – Jim Watso –    jcwphotos@cox.net

Area #11 Windsor – Mike & Judy Whittlesey –  mwhitt15@gmail.com

Area #12 East Hartford – Blair Wlochowski – wlochowski@sbcglobal.net

Please contact the captain of the area in which you might be able to help well in advance of the Count.  Captains are responsible for making certain areas are covered.  We ask that you do not cover an area without letting the captain know so as to make certain areas are not doubly covered or to make certain they are within the Count circle.

Please do not hesitate to contact me should there be any questions concerning the Count.  It can be great fun and you might be surprised at what can be found during a day of December birding in the Greater Hartford area.

Jay Kaplan, Compiler, Hartford Christmas Bird Count



December 20, 2020
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Jay Kaplan

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