Christmas Bird Count (CBC) 2018

2018 Christmas Bird Count
Preliminary Results Released

By Brad and Kathy Barnwell, CBC organizers

One hundred twenty-two species of birds were seen on the Redbud Audubon 2018 Christmas Bird Count (CBC) held Dec. 15, 2018.

It’s the third year in a row that we did not see at least 130 species, and the fifth time in the last 21years that our count was below 130 species. In the last 21 years the highest count was 153 in 2007, and the low- est was 122 in 2003, and now 2018.

Despite the light rain, the 39 participants who bird- ed in 14 different groups were able to count 52,527 birds. Although this tally is well below the 68,301 birds seen in 2017, it is the third highest number since 2004, when our count was 135,312.

Additionally, the only bird seen by all 14 groups was the California Scrub-Jay and only one of each of the following species was seen this year by our excel- lent birders: Mute Swan, Redhead Duck, Barrow’s Goldeneye, Red-necked Grebe, Red-breasted Sap- sucker, Hairy Woodpecker, Pileated Woodpecker, Merlin, Peregrine Falcon, Chestnut-backed Chicka- dee, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Yellow Warbler, and Townsend’s Warbler. Congratulations to the partici- pants who found these birds!

None of the following, normally seen/heard, birds were recorded this year: Killdeer, Barn Owl, Northern Saw-whet Owl, Northern Pygmy Owl, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Varied Thrush, Lark Sparrow, Purple Finch and Pine Siskin. This year did produce a new bird forthe CBC, the Great-tailed Grackle.

This Great-tailed Grackel was pictured a couple of years ago at Library Park in Lakeport. This year the grackle was listed as a “new,” bird for the Lake County CBC.

Using only the preliminary bird numbers the top species were:

1. Western/Clark’s Grebes at 18,691
2. Ruddy Duck at 6,977
3. American Robin at 4,026
4. American White Pelican at 2,935
We truly appreciate and thank all the participants

for their support and efforts in making the bird count as accurate and complete as possible.

We hope that all the participants had a good time and will join us next December for the 120th Annual Christmas Bird Count. Happy Birding.

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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.