Jordan Lake Spring Bird Count

Eastern Kingbird Eastern Kingbird -Photo by Norm Budnitz

New Hope Audubon sponsors the Jordan Lake Spring Bird Count each year in a count circle centered in the area of Jordan Lake in Chatham County (count circle map).  The count is done on one designated day, often starting early in the morning, lasting 6 or more hours, and is restricted to the designated count circle. We try to count every individual bird of every species we encounter, seen or heard.

If you are relatively new to birding, you might consider going on one of our New Hope Audubon bird walks (5 or more per month) to build up your skills in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere with supportive local experts. See our web calendar or upcoming events on our home page. That said, we encourage participants of all stripes—beginners and experts, young and old. If you have never counted before, we will team you up with more experienced people. Please note that some coverage areas do require hiking, sometimes for considerable distances over uneven terrain.

For a close-up look at last year’s results, the compiler’s notes, and a summary of our cumulative data since 1977, see the ‘Historical Information’ section below.

NEW: Visit our new Bird Count Charts page to explore our historical data going back to 1977 for both our Spring and Christmas Bird Counts. On this page you may generate graphs of the abundance of individual bird species over time, and you may also download spreadsheets of the cumulative data.

Our next spring count will be on May 5, 2024. If you are interested in participating, please contact Tom Driscoll by email: [email protected]

COUNTDOWN LOCATION THIS SPRING: On count day, many of us meet for a countdown lunch to go over which birds have been seen. This year we will meet at the Jordan Lake Educational State Forest: For GPS, use this address: 2832 Big Woods Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27517. We will meet at the shelter behind the restrooms building starting around 12:00 PM, and the countdown will be at 1:00 PM. Bring your lunch and join us.

Submit your count data

eBird Users:
If you use eBird checklists, feel free to use the new eBird Trip Report feature. It is really handy if using eBird mobile. Create a checklist for each stop as you normally would using eBird mobile. On the eBird website, go to My eBird–Manage my Trip Reports–Create Trip Report. You may then create a report that summarizes all the checklists for your sector. When creating the trip report make the ‘visibility’ link-only or public. Please create a narrative section in the trip report and include the following (eBird will not do this for you):

  • Area(s) covered, names and email addresses of all participants
  • Effort data: start time, end time, daytime effort (time and miles by car, foot, etc., report one-way distance only), nocturnal effort: time and miles
  • Bald Eagle data: number of adults (with times), number of immatures (with times), number of unknown age class (with times)
  • Double-crested Cormorant data: large numbers only with times
  • Notes on rare species or unusually high numbers
  • Notes on species that might be double counted by another party
  • Any other information you would like to add

You can then share the trip report with Norm Budnitz, our compiler, at: [email protected]

Click here for a guide with more information on using eBird for CBCs.

Or submit forms as in the past:
The following forms may be sent to Norm either by email: [email protected] (Excel format) or as hard copies (PDF format, note his new address on the form). Note that the count forms have been formatted to print out on letter-sized paper in landscape orientation:

  • Spring Count checklist for electronic entry and submission as an Excel file
  • Spring Count checklist for hard copy entry and submission as a .pdf file
  • Rare Bird form for electronic entry and submission as an Excel file
  • Rare bird form for hard copy entry and submission as a .pdf file

Count Areas and Assignments

Click on an area in this map to see its number and name. If you click the broken rectangle in the upper right corner, you can see a larger map. The coverage assignments below are based on previous years (with emphasis on last year’s participation) and will be updated regularly. A question mark (?) indicates participants from previous years or participants tentatively placed but not yet confirmed — please let us know!

**Updated April 3, 2024.**

Area 1–Farrington area: Patrick Coin (?), Denise Ward (?)
Area 2–Sexton Rd, E. Stone Rd, west of Horton’s Pond Rd (W of pond): Barbara Coffman (?), Beth Mancuso (?), Kyle Mills (?), Don Pelly (?)
Area 3a–Horton’s Pond E to 751, S to US 64, Crosswinds Marina, White Oak Creek: Rick Payne (?), Kerry & Trish MacPherson (?)
Area 3b–White Oak Creek: (?)
Area 4–Big Woods Road: Roger Shaw (?), Carolyn McAllaster (?), Jennifer Maher (?)
Area 5–Parker’s Creek: Loren Hintz (?), Margaret Vimmerstedt (?), Ted Smith (?), Ben Acker (?), Emily Acker (?)
Area 6–Fearrington Village: Frank McKeever (?), Kathleen Rogers (?)
Area 7–Mt. Gilead Road: Todd Bishop (?), Bob Roth (?)
Area 8–Bynum Ridge, Pokeberry Creek: Laura Lipps (?), Marion Pratt (?)
Area 9–Haw River: Adam Short
Area 10–West of Haw River, North of US 64: Bo Howes (?)
Area 11–Olive Chapel Area: Jin Bai (?)
Area 12–Tody Goodwin Road: (?)
Area 13–Barker Road, Beaver Creek area to Old US 1: Russell Herman (?)
Area 14E–Jonathan Cantrell (?)
Area 14SW–Shearon Harris: Will Cook (?)
Area 15–Seaforth: Fleeta Wilkinson (?), Nan Dewire (?), Mark Montazer (?)
Area 16–Poplar Point: Steve McMurray (?)
Area 17–Ebenezer and Poplar Point Settling Ponds: Marc Ribaudo (?)
Area 18–Bonsal Road, south side of Little Beaver Creek: (?)
Area 19–Pea Ridge Rd to New Hope Overlook: Josh Southern (?), Sterling Southern (?), Doug Pratt (?)
Area 20–Jordan Dam–East: Patsy Bailey (?), Gene Kingsley (?)
Area 21–Deep River to Merry Oaks: Norm Budnitz (?), Vern Bothwell (?)
Area 22–Will Cook (?)
Area 23–Vista Point: Joe Donahue (?)
Area 24–Wilderness Island: Ginger Travis (?)
Area 25–Hank’s Chapel Rd and Gum Springs Rd: Tom Driscoll (?), Alex Preston (?)
Area 26–Pittsboro to Jordan Dam–West: Noah Rokoske (?)
Area 27–South of Old US 1, Cape Fear Area, Haywood: Mark Owens (?), Rouse Wilson (?), Joe Zellers (?)

Historical Information:

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