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Bird Counts

Indigo Bunting by Mike Benkis

Special Events

Join a Count

Members of the Audubon Society of Omaha are invited to participate in numerous bird counts each year. Approximate dates are given below:

  • Great Backyard Bird Count (mid February)
  • DeSoto Counts (late April and late December)
  • The Sarpy County Spring Bird Count (mid May)
  • BioBlitz at Fontenelle Forest (June)
  • Hitchcock Hawkwatch (September - December)
  • Christmas Bird Count (mid December)

Upcoming Bird Count Information

To see upcoming bird count information, please visit the Events Calendar and filter using the "Bird Count" category. 


20th Annual DeSoto CBC Results

This year’s Christmas Bird Count for the DeSoto NWR took place on December 30th as planned. The weather cooperated with temperatures 22-46(F), winds 5-20mph, and sky clear becoming cloudy in the pm. There were 12 parties with a new record number of counters at 28, half of which were new to the count. Encouragingly, three of the counters were under the age of 20.

Species count was 73 which tied with 2013 for second place behind 2012 (74). Total individuals counted were respectable at 25,359 due in part to a large body of open water near the visitor center at DeSoto NWR.

14 species of waterfowl present contributed to the species count with record high numbers for Trumpeter Swan (135), Gadwall (10), Ringed-necked Duck (76), and Common Goldeneye (202). Other high counts were Northern Harrier (9), and Sharp-shinned Hawk (8), and meadowlark species (459). Noteworthy species were a reliable eld sparrow sighting last seen on the CBC in 2000, a Prairie Falcon only seen twice before on the count, a saw whet owl heard, Common Grackle (4), Brown-headed Cowbird (7), and Purple Finch (4).

Pileated Woodpeckers continue to be present in low numbers that were first seen in 2010. The only species with lowest number recorded was Blue Jay with only 57 individuals although, Horned Larks were difficult to find (6).

Thanks to all who volunteered their time. Special thanks to The DeSoto and Boyer Chute National Wildlife Refuges and Hitchcock Nature Center. Thank you to the Audubon Society of Omaha for making a contribution to National Audubon Society supporting their 117 years of monitoring bird population trends in North America.