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Policy regarding use of Christmas Bird Count data

Terms of Use for Christmas Bird Count® Database

Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is a National Audubon Society owned and operated citizen science and research program and database.   The CBC Database is housed on Audubon-owned servers and is accessible only through the Audubon web portal.  These Terms of Use govern your access to and use of the CBC Database.  Please read these terms carefully.  By accessing the CBC Database, you agree to be bound by these Terms and by our Privacy Policy.

To maintain data integrity, Audubon strategically and routinely reviews the CBC Database for errors and plans corrections, in coordination with Compilers, Regional Editors, and others.  Because the Audubon-controlled CBC Database is the only CBC database we review and the only official record of the CBC, it is also the only CBC database that may be considered to contain reliable data.

Audubon owns the intellectual property rights associated with the Christmas Bird Count, the CBC Database and the related website, including the trademarks NATIONAL AUDUBON SOCIETY, AUDUBON and CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT (“Audubon Marks”).  You understand and agree that without a written license from Audubon, you may not make any use of the Audubon Marks. 

The CBC Database is available for unlimited viewing by the general public.

To request data that are not easily obtainable from the CBC results pages, please fill out this request form.

Persons wishing to download data from the CBC Database must adhere to the following protocol:

  • Small subsets of data may be downloaded via self-service for personal use.   
  • Larger data subsets of raw data may be provided for analytical use to by researchers, academics, and government agencies.  To request permission, contact Audubon at  
  • Persons wishing to post subsets of CBC data on a permanent computerized databank (including on any mobile device or mobile or desktop application), or in raw form on any web site or the internet, or in any format that permits querying, must obtain written permission.  To request permission, contact Audubon at 
  • You may not use the CBC data commercially without specific written permission.
  • CBC data is provided to you on a one-time basis only, unless otherwise provided by written permission.  Your use of CBC data is personal to you and may not be shared with any third party.
  • You must credit Audubon and the volunteers who collected the data in all published material containing CBC data, including scientific papers, articles, adverts, talks and slides with the following: “CBC Data are provided by National Audubon Society and through the generous efforts of Bird Studies Canada and countless volunteers across the Western Hemisphere.”  Where possible, you should provide a link to the Audubon and CBC websites (, and, when using CBC data collected in Canada, Bird Studies Canada (,), Audubon's Canadian CBC partner.  Literature that cites CBC data should use the following citation guide format to reference the CBC database:
  • You must destroy all raw CBC data at the end of your study.
  • Posting of summarized CBC results such as a scientific finding, as part of a written summary or publication, is permitted and does not need explicit permission from Audubon.
  • Publication of annual CBC results by sponsoring state or regional ornithological entities, in both printed and online format, is permitted and does not need explicit permission from Audubon.

 July 2014