Christmas Bird Count (CBC) 2018

Redbud Audubon to participate in annual Christmas Bird Count on Saturday, December 15      (Note: Change in program meeting to be December 13)


This year, the annual Clear Lake Christmas Bird Count, held by the Redbud Audubon Society, will be on Saturday, Dec. 15. The Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is a traditional project of Audubon societies around the country.

This is National Audubon’s 119th Christmas Bird Count with all counts being held between the dates of Friday, Dec. 14, 2018 through Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019.

Each December or early January, birders gather to record every individual bird and species encountered during the day. Each count group has a designated circle of 15 miles in diameter and tries to cover as much ground as possible within a certain period of time.

There is a specific methodology to the CBC, and all participants must make arrangements to participate in advance with the circle compiler within an established circle, but anyone can participate.

Count volunteers follow specified routes through the designated 15-mile (24-km) diameter circle, counting every bird they see or hear all day. It’s not just a species tally—all birds are counted all day, giving an indication of the total number of birds in the circle that day.

If you are a beginning birder, you will be able to join a group that includes at least one experienced birdwatcher.

If your home is within the boundaries of a CBC circle, then you can stay at home and report the birds that visit your feeder on count day as long as you have made prior arrangements with the count compiler.

The data collected by each count group are then sent to the National Audubon Headquarters in New York and is made available online.

Redbud Audubon invites all birders and nature enthusiasts to join in the upcoming count. Birders of all skill levels are encouraged to participate. This is Audubon’s longest running wintertime tradition and is the 44th year the Count has taken place in Lake County. There will be two main groups that participants might wish to join – one will meet at Anderson Marsh State Historic Park and the other will meet at the Visitor’s Center Parking lot at the Clear Lake State Park. Both groups will meet at 8 a.m. and continue through to early or mid-afternoon.

After the count, participants are invited to a pizza dinner at 5 p.m. at Kelseyville Pizza on State Street in Kelseyville to join in the count compilation where the tally of the day’s sightings is compiled.

Previous to the bird count, at the Thursday Dec. 13, Redbud Audubon meeting Brad and Kathy Barnwell will present an extensive slide show and discussion of distinguishing features of birds that are often seen during the annual count. The meeting is open to the public and visitors are encouraged to attend. It starts at 7 p.m. The meeting is being held at the Kelseyville Methodist/Unitarian Social Hall, Corner of Main and First Streets.

If you are interested in participating in the bird count, call Brad or Kathy Barnwell at (707) 263-1283.

The Christmas Bird Count began more than a century ago when 27 conservationists in 25 localities, led by scientist and writer Frank Chapman, changed the course of ornithological history.

On Christmas Day in 1900, the small group posed an alternative to the “side hunt,” a Christmas day activity in which teams competed to see who could shoot the most birds and small mammals. Instead, Chapman proposed to identify, count, and record all the birds they saw, founding what is now considered to be the world’s most significant citizen-based conservation effort – and century-old institution.

Scientists rely on the remarkable trend data of Audubon’s CBC to better understand how birds and the environment are faring throughout North America – and what needs to be done to protect them. Data from Audubon’s signature Citizen Science program are at the heart of numerous peer-reviewed scientific studies.

With all of the issues, including climate change and habitat loss, facing both local bird species and birds worldwide, there is no time like the present to start getting involved in local bird conservation and educating yourself about the numerous bird species we have right here in Lake County; the annual Christmas Bird Count is a fun way of doing this.