2023 C&O Canal winter bird survey set for January 21

Join Potomac Valley Audubon volunteer Bill Telfair on January 21 from 8 a.m.-12 p.m. for his annual C&O Canal Winter Bird Survey along a 3-mile stretch of the canal towpath (MP 71, 72 and 73).

For over 20 years, birds along the entire 185 miles of the C&O Canal have been counted. This survey, which had been coordinated by the District of Columbia Audubon Society, is designed to provide a snapshot count of birds present on the C&O Canal.

Participants should gather across the Potomac River from Shepherdstown at the large National Park Service parking area on Canal Road (past the railroad bridge) at 8: a.m. Sharp. For those that are comfortable, carpooling will be arranged down to Antietam Creek (MP 70). However, if you prefer not to carpool, you can team up with a family member or friend and leave one car at the large parking area and drive the other car down to Antietam Creek parking. The group will carpool or drive down to Antietam Creek (MP 70) and walk back toward the Rumsey Bridge (MP 73).

The count will take place regardless of the weather (only a very severe storm will alter scheduled survey) so dress appropriately and wear comfortable footwear to walk the full three-mile route. The ‘snow/rain date’ will be Saturday, January 28.

Binoculars will be available for those who need them, however, take binoculars if you have them. This event is free and open to the public; however, registration is required and limited to 12 participants. Anyone with an interest is welcome to participate. This is a good walk for those still working on their bird identification skills, but intermediate/advanced birders are also encouraged to help.

Registration and additional information can be found at:

If you have any questions, contact Bill Telfair at [email protected] or 408-966-8895.