Photo Courtesy of Joe Browning -



          The North American Migration Count is an effort to obtain a “snapshot” of the progress of Spring Migration and to obtain information on the abundance and distribution of each species.  Begun in 1991, the NAMC is not affiliated with any particular organization, but has support from groups such as Partners in Flight, the American Birding Association, the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, and the National Audubon Society.  There are no fees.

          NAMC takes place each second Saturday in May.  This choice has been made to try to find the peaks of movement of neotropical species while they are still where most of the birders are.  It will not be peak everywhere; the Northern states will be getting the first glimmer of spring, and the deep South will be in early breeding season, but the overall goal is of importance to everyone.  Renowned birder Chan Robbins likens it to fitting together the pieces of a puzzle. 

          The area of each count is an entire county.  The rules are simple; spend time in the field or near a feeder, counting birds in the specified area (both species & number), and keep track of hours & miles spent during the count.  Participation by all birders, no matter their level of skill or “style” is to be encouraged.  Have fun and enjoy the day!

          “Success is measured not in terms of the number of birds seen in a given area by you or your party, but in terms of the total amount and quality of coverage that is obtained by all parties afield.”  ~Chandler Robbins


~excerpted from NAMC Newsletter, April 1996


[ Local notes ~~Handlan Chapter has traditionally called its migration count “Century Day,” and we often still do.  It is always fun to try to count 100 or more species.

A newly streamlined checklist for the local NAMC is available ( and print copies will be brought to the May meeting.

A copy of a rough draft of species data for the last 4 years for our 3 local counties is also available.]




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