Finding a Silver Lining and a Call to Action – The 120th Christmas Bird Count

By Rebecca Coulter, Liz Muraoka, Joan Murdoch, & Libby Patten

Let’s just get this on the table: North American birds are in trouble. In late January, Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Dr. Kenneth Rosenberg spoke at the Museum of Natural History about the Decline of the North American Avifauna, his recent article and its message of three billion birds lost since 1970, which fell upon the national birding scene like a ton of bricks. As a community of birders and conservationists, we—like Rosenberg—have been astonished at the extremes evident in the data.

… Continue Reading

Santa Barbara CBC – The List


The month before the count, you can help us by scouting your neighborhood or anywhere else within the count circle for any of the interesting or unusual birds on this list:

  • Cattle Egret
  • Blue-winged Teal
  • Eurasian Wigeon
  • Greater Scaup
  • Mountain Quail
  • Common Gallinule
  • Virginia Rail
  • Wilson’s Snipe
  • Greater Roadrunner
  • any owls (other than Barn, Great Horned, and Western-Screech)
  • White-throated Swift
  • any Hummingbirds (other than Anna’s or Allen’s)
  • Sapsuckers (other than Red-breasted)
  • Horned Lark
  • any swallows
  • Rock or Pacific Wrens
  • Common Raven
  • Phainopepla
  • Nashville Warbler
  • Black-throated Gray Warbler
  • Yellow Warbler
  • Hermit Warbler
  • Wilson’s Warbler
  • any tanagers
  • any grosbeaks
  • White-throated Sparrow
  • Tri-colored Blackbird
  • any orioles
  • Lawrence’s Goldfinch

PLUS: any montane species such as

  • Mountain Chickadee
  • Golden-crowned Kinglet
  • Brown Creeper
  • Townsend’s Solitaire
  • Varied Thrush
  • Cassin’s Finch

Also, we’re interested in the more common species whose numbers may be lower than in previous years:

  • Sparrows (especially young ones)
  • Waterfowl (ducks)

If you see any of the above or know of any other interesting birds and you are not posting them to sbcobirding, please let Libby Patten know at: email hidden; JavaScript is required.

Santa Barbara CBC – Blog

Count week is here!

January 1, 2020

Today marks the beginning of Count Week, which includes the three days prior to (January 1-3) and three days after (January 5-7) CBC day. Species seen during these six days but not seen on CBC day are still very important to gathering a truer picture of the bird species around our area right now. Please report your sightings of any birds on The List page of this site either through eBird, sbcobirding or by letting the CBC compilers know by emailing us at: email hidden; JavaScript is required. Thanks and good luck!

120th CBC is coming up!

October 23rd, 2019

Howdy, birders! Greetings to all from the CBC team. Audubon’s 120th Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is coming soon with the Santa Barbara CBC to be held on Saturday, January 4, 2020. We encourage everyone to start getting out and scouting for the birds on The List page of this site. While this list hasn’t been updated for this year, many of the less common species remain the same each CBC. With the good rainfall last spring, it will be interesting to see how that affects bird numbers and diversity for this CBC. We’ll be back soon with more information. Enjoy your scouting missions in the meantime…


119th CBC is nearly here!

December 24th, 2018

Greetings to everyone from the CBC team!

You’re probably busy with holiday gatherings, but don’t forget that the 119th count (Saturday, 5 January) is almost here! We would really appreciate any scouting missions you can do between now and then. As for all CBCs, it’s exciting and helpful if you find and report rarities, but we have another concern this year as well. With recent years of drought and the devastating fires of the last year, it’s unclear how this loss of habitat has impacted the populations of common species. A number of folks have reported recently that they’re seeing fewer warblers, waterfowl, orioles and sparrows (especially young ones). So we hope you can help by checking out your neighborhoods or other areas and let us know what you’re seeing and what you’re NOT seeing in terms of the expected common species.

Let us know if you find anything noteworthy!

Here are a few places that could use some scouting:
Rocky Nook Park
Riviera parks
Montecito parks
San Marcos Foothills
Harbor and beaches
Arroyo Burro Creek
Douglas Family Preserve
Stow Grove
UCSB and SBCC campuses
Girsh Park “ditch” (briefly home to a Northern Waterthrush two years ago)
Other Isla Vista and Goleta hotspots
La Cumbre Peak environs

Check out “The List” page to get a list of species we’d like you to report to us.  We’ve also added some common species that we’d like to you to look for.

Let us know your observations by posting to this page or emailing Libby Patten at: EMAIL ADDRESS TBD.


Yes, Virginia, there will be a CBC!

December 19th, 2017

What a crazy and stressful last two weeks! I remember being a little annoyed when the power went out late on Monday, December 4. Little did any of us realize what we were in for after that. We hope everyone is hanging in there, in whatever way you’ve had to adjust to deal with this monster, the Thomas Fire. Just wanted to confirm that, yes, there will be a Santa Barbara CBC, and it will still be on Saturday, December 30th!

This won’t be a typical CBC – some areas might be inaccessible, the habitat in some areas damaged and scouting missions prior to CBC day greatly reduced because of poor air quality and road closures. Even though you might feel less enthusiastic about CBC on one level, it’s ultimately one of the most important CBCs just because of this upheaval. How have the birds responded? Where are they, how many and so forth. By participating, you will help to document what might be a revealing blip in the data for our bird communities. And hopefully, getting out for CBC will shake off some of the gloom brought on by all this fire, smoke and disruption. Indeed, the obsessive passion of birders to transcend obstacles was demonstrated on December 10, when a big surge in the fire and hideous air quality could not keep us from searching and refinding the rare Le Conte’s Sparrow (first found by Hugh Ranson) at the Bird Refuge.  Birding with masks is extra fun with glasses, we found… 😉


Getting ready for the 118th count

December 4th, 2017

Greetings to everyone from the CBC team!  The holidays are upon us and that means the 118th count, on Saturday, 30 December, is coming fast.  We  are busy making sure we have volunteers mapped to all of the count sites, but meanwhile we could use your help to get us ready for count day.  We obviously don’t know where some of the rarer species might pop up, so we hope you can help by checking out blooming trees and shrubs, fountains, or anyplace with regular water. Let us know if you find anything noteworthy!

When you want to take visitors for a walk or just need to escape the crazy holiday crowds for a while, here are a few places that could use some scouting:
Rocky Nook Park
Riviera parks
Montecito parks
San Marcos Foothills
Harbor and beaches
Arroyo Burro Creek
Douglas Family Preserve
Stow Grove
UCSB and SBCC campuses
Girsh Park “ditch” (briefly home to a Northern Waterthrush two years ago)
Other Isla Vista and Goleta hotspots
La Cumbre Peak environs

Check out “The List” page to get a list of species we’d like you to report to us.

Here’s a beautiful piece that hopefully will inspire you to get out and be rejuvenated by nature.🙂 

This is Wendell Berry reading his poem, “The Peace of Wild Things.”
It serves as a haunting and hopeful prologue to the documentary, GMO OMG.

117th results put to bed

March 5th, 2017

The end of each February is the National Audubon’s deadline for count results to be submitted by each circle’s compiler(s). We the four compilers of your count are happy to say that we jointly sent off our official numbers last Monday the 27th. Your can see these numbers for yourself under the tab “Latest Count Results”. Thanks to all who make this count a very special one year after year.

I have added a new link to an excel spreadsheet that summarizes data from the “modern era”, those counts from the 62nd through the most recent 117th. (There had been a 20-year lull in conducting counts, so no data from 1942 until 1962.) This page is called “Historical Summary Since the 62nd Count” and the link is also here:
Summary spreadsheet counts 62-117

Is it too soon to announce the date for the 118th count, on December 30, 2017? Safely away from any New Year’s celebrations. Then no counts for calendar year 2018, taking up again on January 5, 2019!


New reporting options for 117th count

December 23th, 2016

Hello all, it’s nice to be indoors today while the rain comes down, perhaps adding some water to our parched landscape when we count in 8 days.

For your convenience we have added 2 new forms on our “Forms” page, which allow for digital input of your species totals, and participant list and effort data. Traditionally, you would download the paper forms, print them, fill them out manually, and then submit them. Now you may now download a Word .docx file that you locally fill out and save electronically, and then attach to an email to us.

For more details see the “Information for Leaders” page. We hope that this makes our mutual efforts easier!


10 Days to go, astronomical info, tides

December 20th, 2016

Hello everyone, it’s December 20 as I write, the eve of the winter solstice, which takes place at 2:44 am on the 21st. By the 31st, count day, sunrise will be at 7:05 am and set at 4:59 pm. Here is how the tides look for the day:

2016-12-31 Sat  3:53 AM PST    2.3 feet  Low Tide
2016-12-31 Sat 10:01 AM PST    5.7 feet  High Tide
2016-12-31 Sat  5:20 PM PST   -0.5 feet  Low Tide

Which is to say that the lowest practical tide during daylight would be late afternoon.

The moon will not be a factor in owling. It will be a very young moon, showing as a waxing crescent at around 3–7% illumination and setting soon after the sun on both the 30th and 31st.


Best to You All on Thanksgiving 2016

November 25th, 2016

Hello all of you, greetings from the CBC team as we get ever closer to the 117th count, which will be on Saturday, 31 December, 2016, aka New Year’s Eve. Your day would generally be until afternoon or dusk birding, which does allow for you to party in the evening if that is your desire.

As we did last year, we are not sending out a broadcast email for registration. We are more informally contacting area and site leaders as to the makeup of their teams, and outreaching to the more independent roamers and specialty groups such as owlers and boat people. If you have any questions about this, such as your possible participation or placement, email us at email hidden; JavaScript is required; questions directly relating to the website may be delivered to email hidden; JavaScript is required.

Check with “The List” page to get a list of birds to report to us, unless you already report them to the yahoo users group sbcobirding. And do let us know of any special hot spot of perhaps a water hole or drip, or someone’s feeder area that is accessible.


2015 Changes to our Species Form

December 21, 2015

Please make sure that on your checklist for our upcoming count the heading reads “SPECIES LIST 2015.” This greatly facilitates our compiling effort the week after the count. There were not many changes from the 2014 list. We took out the line for White-winged Dove as it is not a regular species here. We also eliminated the line “Selasphorus sp.” We would prefer that unless you are positive of a Rufous Hummingbird ID, which would include appropriate documentation, that Allen’s Hummingbird would be the preferred default for this time of year. The Rufous are just too rare to be lumped in with Allen’s as a “spuh” category.


Some results from last year’s Count

November 25th, 2015

The National Audubon Society has released its summaries of the 115th count from last winter. There were a record 2462 circles in all, with over 72,000 observers that tallied over 68 million birds and detected 2106 bird species. Over 100 of these circles were outside the ABA area of the United States and Canada.

For a long time we have had the greatest number of field participants (ie, not including watchers at feeders) in the ABA area contributing to our Santa Barbara count. But this last count we fell one short of Oakland, CA’s 257. Congratulations to Oakland! There were only 6 counts with 200 or more field participants, and more remarkably, only 81, or just over 3%, of the counts that had 100 or more.

The following list are the 10 species that we either had the highest number counted in the ABA area or were tied for the high count:

Heermann’s Gull  1011
Spotted Owl   3
Common Poorwill   2
Acorn Woodpecker   1026 (all-time high!)
Dusky-capped Flycatcher   1
Orange-crowned Warbler   49
Lucy’s Warbler   1, tied with 2 other counts
Grace’s Warbler   1
Orchard Oriole   1, tied with 5 other counts
Bullock’s Oriole   13, tied with 1 other count


Yes, we are working on it….

November 25th, 2015

Preparations for Audubon’s annual Christmas Bird Count (CBC), to be held on Saturday, January 2, 2016, are well underway, as compilers Rebecca Coulter, Jared Dawson, Liz Muraoka, and Joan Murdoch work out the hundreds of details required to conduct a bird survey of this scope. Santa Barbara’s CBC usually tops the list for number of participants (although not last year, see the previous post)—fortunately, we are lucky to have such a rich and diverse circle to cover! But as the drought wears on and we dream of rain, tracking where the birds are this season is a challenge. To make planning even more interesting, current projections for a “historically strong” El Nino weather pattern bring the other side of that coin to the forefront! Be careful what you wish for…. Carving up and covering the count circle is a complex puzzle. Finding the right fit for eager birders and adequate coverage for each type of habitat are the keys to our success. Not all birders sign up for a multi-mile mountain hike on Count Day, but how will we cover the vast amount of dense chaparral and steep mountain slopes? Just how many birders are too many in one group? Where do we assign eager beginners, and with which leaders? Do we have all the necessary permissions for private property: the Zoo, the water treatment plants, the reservoirs, the boat donors? How can we best use current technology in our reporting/recording/compiling? These considerations and many more consume the hearts and minds of the compilers in November and December, culminating in the arrival of Count Day and the unexpected surprises it always holds. We take pride as a community not only in the very high numbers of species found annually, but also in the quality of our bird science. We are all having a hand in helping to form a vital picture of wintering avian distribution throughout North America and increasingly in Central and South America. Before the count, you can help us by scouting your neighborhood or anywhere else within the Count Circle for interesting or unusual birds, as listed on the page ‘The List’.

We are happy to announce a new caterer for our Christmas Bird Count dinner, to be held as per tradition in Fleischmann Auditorium at 6 pm. Our Mexican dinner will be provided by the popular Del Pueblo Cafe, and the menu includes chicken enchiladas verde, cheese enchiladas rojas, salad, rice, beans, chips, and salsa. It’s a BYOB event, so bring your beverage of choice. Water will be provided. You may also bring your own dinner setting, or paper and plastic ware will be provided. Enjoy this relaxing meal with friends and fellow Christmas Bird Count birders, and enjoy hearing reports from the field as our count is compiled.

Also as usual, you are free to bring your own food if that’s your preference. The price for the catered meal is $15, and you will need to sign up for it by December 22, 2015.

Santa Barbara CBC – Latest Results


Hello birders,

January 4, 2020’s 120th Audubon Christmas Bird Count is now going into the books. Our final official tally is 203 species.

State and national ranking for the total number of species is shown below. The full list of species and numbers of birds recorded for each will be available soon at Audubon’s CBC web page.

# Species  Count Circle

                 229       Matagorda/Mad Island Marsh, TX
                 212       San Diego, CA
                 203       Santa Barbara, CA
                 202       Guadalupe River Delta, TX
                 199       Morro Bay, CA
                 197       Freeport, TX

The final species total of 203 for the 120th CBC was better than expected. Though there were no big surprises, there were highlights: the male Tufted Duck returned for a 7th year to Lauro Reservoir; Mountain Quail were found along Camino Cielo; three Greater Roadrunners were found; and the elusive but recently regular American Bittern was in its favorite spot at Lake Los Carneros. We counted eight owl species, including the uncommon Northern Pygmy, Burrowing, Short-eared, Spotted, and Northern Saw-whet. Missed last year, the Warbling Video returned for a seventh winter at Bohnett Park. (This species is so rare in winter that we presume it is the same individual favoring the same small park each year.) We had three swallow species: Northern Rough-winged, Tree, and Barn; two uncommon sapsuckers: Yellow-bellied and Red-naped; and a surprising Lawrence’s Goldfinch at Gibraltar Dam. Uncommon warblers were scarce this year, but we found multiples of Black-and-White, Nashville, Yellow, Black-throated Gray, and Wilson’s, plus one each of Lucy’s and Hermit. And for the 4th consecutive year, we added a new species to our CBC list: two immature Yellow-crowned Night-heron at Goleta Beach, a species that has been steadily expanding its westward range and is now becoming regular along the California coast.

Among the misses, there was a big gap in seabirds again, even though the weather cooperated, and thanks to our friends at Santa Barbara Channelkeeper, the boat crew traveled nearly 50 miles back and forth around the pelagic edge of the count circle. But Common Murre, Bonaparte’s Gull, Forster’s Tern and Caspian Tern were all missed, nor were they seen from shore. Other birds missed on count day but seen during count week were Common Gallinule, Red Crossbill, Hooded Oriole, and Black-headed Grosbeak. The day after count week ended, two Scott’s Oriole were found on blooming aloes in a private nursery near Parma Park.

As the results have unfolded during compiling, we found that some of the trends evident in Cornell’s Dr. Rosenberg’s message—in particular declining land bird species—were reflected in our numbers, as well. Among our low counts this year: California Quail, Mourning Dove, White-crowned Sparrow, and Yellow-rumped Warbler.

But there is some good news. Heermann’s Gull, Hairy Woodpecker, American Kestrel, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, and Ruby-crowned Kinglet all showed higher counts compared to recent years. And while Northern Pintail continues its precipitous decline, Blue-winged Teal, a species we have often struggled to find, seems to be increasing here. For both Osprey and Peregrine Falcon, formerly on our “rarity” list requiring an observation write-up, multiples of each were seen. And we had a record high count of Chestnut-backed Chickadee, another species expanding its range into our coastal areas.

Often birding is about the simple joy of observation: seeing the flash of magenta on Anna’s Hummingbird when it turns toward the sun, or hearing the soft but distinctive chup-chup of a Hermit Thrush skulking in the shadows. Stepping up to record these observations in eBird for each outing in turn steps up our conservation efforts. Participating in the CBC and other citizen science projects is a key answer to “what can we do?” Cornell, the American Bird Conservancy, and other partners have outlined 7 Simple Actions that make a difference. And like many grassroots efforts, these small steps multiply to have a powerful impact on the mission: saving birds and the habitats that support them.

Thank you for your steadfast support of the CBC: Santa Barbara Audubon, the compiling team, mapping and data crunching experts, the compilation dinner crew, and all the birders who scout, organize, and inspire us to do it every year. Thank you.

Rebecca Coulter, Liz Muraoka, Joan Murdoch and Libby Patten

SB CBC Coordinators

Santa Barbara CBC – Leader Information


120th SANTA BARBARA CBC
Saturday, January 4, 2020
Information for Group Leaders and Individual Birders

Thanks so much for taking part in the Santa Barbara Audubon Society’s annual Christmas Bird Count. If you are in charge of an area and have not already done so, please call or e-mail the members of your party as soon as possible to set up your plans for Count Day.  Count Day is Saturday, January 4; Count Week is January 1, 2, 3  and 5, 6, 7. (Count Week is the period three days before and three days after, in which birds not observed on Count Day can be recorded for the record—though not added to the species total for Count Day.)

Everyone is urged to attend the compilation dinner at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History (Fleischmann Auditorium) on the evening of Count Day. Meals must be reserved by December 31: click here to reserve. If you don’t wish to purchase a meal, please bring your own food and dinner service. Dinner begins at 6:00; countdown begins at 7:00. 

Best of luck and great birding!
Rebecca Coulter, Liz Muraoka, Joan Murdoch, and Libby Patten
Compilers

On Count Day

Unexpected Participants
Group leaders, you might encounter unexpected participants showing up at your site to join your group. Not a problem; just include them on your participant lists and thank you for being flexible.  We don’t expect this to happen often, but sometimes people just don’t mention to us that they are joining the effort! 

Midday Countdown: Goleta Beach at 12:30 at the base of the pier
Please let us know your stakeouts/targets, particularly if you will not attend the midday count:

  • If you have a Gmail account, use the Google Sheets document (see below) to update species sightings throughout the day.
  • If you do not have a Gmail account, please notify us about your target species by noon by calling or texting Rebecca: 805-455-7040. Please leave brief but informative messages if necessary; we will not answer the phone during the 12:30 countdown. 

Smartphone reporting notification
In the afternoon, we will use smartphone reporting for updates via texts and email. Contact Liz Muraoka to sign up for these afternoon reports via GroupMe. It will not be activated until the afternoon, to keep us all from going nuts listening to the update pings. Liz: infocbc (at) santabarbaraaudubon (dot) org.

Live Google Sheets status document
We are using a shared Google Sheets document to keep track of species throughout the day. Here is the link; instructions below:

120 CASB Count Day Species List

  • Enter your target or stakeout sightings on the Google Sheets document. This is a LIVE document, overseen by moderators during the day. Please enter your initials in the cell next to the species name. If there is already an entry in a cell, the species has been recorded; no need to add yours. Exception: if the cell is colored pink, multiple initials may be entered. Please take extra care when entering data here to be sure you are putting your entry in the right cell. 

As group leader (or individual roamer) you are responsible for submitting three types of documentation. All forms are available on the SB CBC website, under the Forms tabNote: all forms will be collected at the dinner, so if you will not attend, please get your forms to us by the end of count day.

  • Participant and Effort: a list of the participants in your party, including name, city, and contact information, as well as the Effort information describing your party’s hours and miles. Instructions on the form.
    (3 versions are offered: 2 for printing (group and single birder); and 1 fillable file for paperless reporting.
  • Species List: a list of all the birds your party was able to identify within the count circle on count day, including counts of individuals of each species. If you do more than one site, submit separate checklists. (Please use the revised list for the 120th count, which makes life so much easier for your compilers!) Two versions are offered: 1 for printing, and 1 fillable file for paperless reporting. To use eBirdsee below for more information.
  • Rare bird documentation: photos, sound recordings, and/or detailed written descriptions for all rare birds reported. 

*****

Electronic Reporting

For sending your Species Lists and/or Participant Lists to the CBC compilers, you have some electronic options.

  1. Paperless report: download download this form to complete it on your word-processor (.docx file). It uses a table format for speedy data entry. Fill in the form and save it, attach to an email and send it to the CBC: admincbc (at) santabarbaraaudubon (dot) org. Don’t forget to write up any rare bird sightings as noted above. 
  • eBird. We welcome eBird species lists in place of the old paper lists. Here’s how to send us your list in a format that our master spreadsheet can read, a CSV file:
    • Download your eBird checklist
      • From your My eBird page (on the main website, not the mobile app), in the My Checklists column, click Manage My Checklists. Find your CBC list; click on View Or Edit.
      • Click Checklist Tools at top right (on small screen this may reduce to a ‘pen & notepad’ icon).  
      • A menu will drop down; select Download. A popup window appears at left; select Save File. The list is sent to your computer, and you’ll find it in your Downloads folder with a filename like [checklist number]_observations.csv. This file is readable by spreadsheets and databases.
    • Send the file(s)
      • Attach your .csv file(s) to an email to: admincbc (at) santabarbaraaudubon (dot) org
      • Attach Participant Data: this is critical, since eBird and
        Audubon ask for different effort data. By participating in this CBC, you agree to give us the data we need to give Audubon! Download a Participant form, fill it in, save, and send with your other data. Or you can skip the form and just list all the required items in the text of your email.
      • Attach rare bird documentation if needed.

For all eBirders:
As a courtesy to your compilers, we ask that you complete and submit all eBird data no later than noon the following day, including your effort and rarity data. 
Email your eBird checklists and accompanying effort and rarity data to Rebecca Coulter at: admincbc (at) santabarbaraaudubon (dot) org.


Before Count day, you can help us by scouting your neighborhood or anywhere else within the Count Circle for the following birds:

Blue-winged Teal
Greater Scaup
Mountain Quail
Cattle Egret
Virginia Rail
Wilson’s Snipe
Iceland (Thayer’s) Gull
Greater Roadrunner
Any owls (other than Great Horned or Barn)
White-throated Swift
Hummingbirds (except Anna’s & Allen’s)
Sapsuckers (except Red-breasted)
Horned Lark
Any swallows
Brown Creeper
Rock or Pacific wrens
Common Raven
Phainopepla
Nashville Warbler
Black-throated Gray Warbler
Black-and-White Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Hermit Warbler
Wilson’s Warbler
Any tanagers
Any grosbeaks
Lark Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Tricolored Blackbird
Any orioles
Lawrence’s Goldfinch

If you see any of the above, please contact Libby Patten: 
infocbc (at) santabarbaraaudubon (dot) org. 

Santa Barbara CBC – Forms

The forms below are now current for CBC 120 (January 4, 2020):

  • Santa Barbara CBC Species List Form; Note that this list has been updated from previous versions. Your sheet should have “SPECIES LIST 120” showing at the top. PLEASE do not refer to a previous list.
  • SB CBC Species List Form for electronic reporting, a docx word processor form; fill in the table and email to Rebecca at: email hidden; JavaScript is required.
  • CBC Rare Bird Documentation Form; Please print out this form, and when completed contact one of our compilers to arrange pickup or mailing.

PLEASE SELECT/SUBMIT the appropriate PARTICIPANT FORM (individual or group, paper or electronic) from the choices below. This is very important for both SB CBC and National Audubon!

  • Group Participant Form to be completed on Count Day by group leaders
  • SB CBC Participant & Effort Form electronic reporting, a docx word processor form; fill in the tables and email to Rebecca at: email hidden; JavaScript is required.
  • Individual Participant Form to be completed on Count Day by individual birders
  • Printable Guide for Participants a reference for filling out the participant information
  • Guide for Participants explaining party miles and hours

NOTE: If you are birding with a group on Count Day, only your group leader needs to have these forms. However, you may wish to take a look at the forms anyway, especially the species list, beforehand. (Note that this list has been updated in 2018 as noted above.) Thanks, and see you at the Christmas Count!

Santa Barbara CBC – Historical Results


Count Totals 91st through 119th Santa Barbara CBC

The following is a list of our species totals from the 91st count (1990–91) through the 119th (2018-19).

For the 29 years in this table the average species count is just a fraction under 208.

Count YearCBC NumberSpecies CountNotes
1990-1991912145th highest for this period
1991-199292201
1992-199393198
1993-199494200
1994-199595203
1995-199696198
1996-199797215tied for 4th highest for this period
1997-199898208
1998-199999211
1999-2000100213
2000-2001101208
2001-2002102206
2002-2003103210
2003-2004104208
2004-2005105200affected by rain
2005-2006106200heavily affected by rain
2006-2007107224*our highest count in our history*
2007-2008108206
2008-2009109209
2009-20101102163rd highest for this period
2010-2011111211
2011-2012112215tied for 4th highest for this period
2012-2013113213
2013-20141142222nd highest count, one of just two over 220
2014-2015115214
2015-2016116212
2016-2017117196lowest in over 25 years, and first under 200 since 96th count, affected by rain
2017-2018118203affected by recent fire and dense fog
2018-2019119197affected by fog, clouds and rain
Average207.965

Santa Barbara CBC – Count Area


A link to a map showing our boundary is HERE. Note, on touch screens use the “+” and “-” buttons to zoom in and out, and one finger to pan the map.

The most accurate field-level check on our boundary (assuming that your GPS gathering device is accurate) is to set a GPS waypoint to our circle’s center: 34.451248, -119.762698, and then make sure that the distance to this point is equal to or under 7.5 miles.

If you have a “smart device” there is an effective app called “Count Circle,” by Stevens Creek Software, which shows on your device the boundary, along with your current location (if your device is set up for GPS location service). Count Circle includes the complete National Audubon database of CBCs (updated as of October 2014), with a total of 2646 different count circles in 89 different states and territories including Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, South America, and Antarctica. Lookup and display any count circle on an interactive map, and find out exactly what is (and is not) included in the circle. This is not a free app, but it is a relatively small cost. HOWEVER, apparently the default center point that is provided for our circle is slightly shaded to the west, so if it’s close, please use the method advised above, if at all possible. To put it in more physical terms, the Coronado ‘seep’ is just in (7.488 miles from center), and the Newport ‘puddle’ is not (7.568 miles). In Montecito, almost all of Manning Park on the WEST side of San Ysidro Road is just in.

Santa Barbara Christmas Bird Count

Hello birders,

January 4, 2020’s 120th Audubon Christmas Bird Count is now into the books. Our final official tally is 203 species.

State and national ranking for the total number of species is shown below. The full list of species and numbers of birds recorded for each will be available soon at Audubon’s CBC web page.

# Species  Count Circle

                 229       Matagorda/Mad Island Marsh, TX
                 212       San Diego, CA
                 203       Santa Barbara, CA
                 202       Guadalupe River Delta, TX
                 199       Morro Bay, CA
                 197       Freeport, TX

 

Notes from before the count:

Audubon’s 120th Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is coming very soon with the Santa Barbara CBC to be held on Saturday, January 4, 2020! We encourage everyone to get out and scout for the birds on The List page of this site. Thanks for your interest!

 

Rebecca Coulter, Joan Murdoch, Liz Muraoka and Libby Patten
SB CBC Coordinators

To volunteer for the CBC, you can contact us at: email hidden; JavaScript is required.

For other questions about the CBC, please email us at: email hidden; JavaScript is required.

Above photos, by Hugh Ranson (left to right) — Broad-billed Hummingbird, LeConte’s Sparrow, and Northern Shoveler. Birds observed just before 118th CBC

 

 

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A few reminders:

CBC Compilation Dinner – Everyone is urged to attend the compilation dinner at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History (Fleischmann Auditorium) on the evening of Count Day. Meals must be reserved by Wednesday, January 1. For more information: https://santabarbaraaudubon.org/2019-christmas-bird-count-dinner/. If you don’t wish to purchase a meal, please bring your own food and dinner service. Dinner begins at 6:00; countdown begins at 7:00.

 

 

 

Count Week starts Wednesday January 1 – Species seen during Count Week should be added to your species list WITH AN ‘X‘ if not seen on CBC day. Count week includes the 3 days before and after CBC, so January 1-3 and January 5-7 (details on the Forms Page).

 

The CBC Count Area — A link to a map showing our boundary is HERE. Note, on touch screens use the “+” and “-” buttons to zoom in and out, and one finger to pan the map.

The most accurate field-level check on our boundary (assuming that your GPS gathering device is accurate) is to set a GPS waypoint to our circle’s center: 34.451248, -119.762698, and then make sure that the distance to this point is equal to or under 7.5 miles.

If you have a “smart device” there is an effective app called “Count Circle,” by Stevens Creek Software, which shows on your device the boundary, along with your current location (if your device is set up for GPS location service). Count Circle includes the complete National Audubon database of CBCs (updated as of October 2014), with a total of 2646 different count circles in 89 different states and territories including Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, South America, and Antarctica. Lookup and display any count circle on an interactive map, and find out exactly what is (and is not) included in the circle. This is not a free app, but it is a relatively small cost. HOWEVER, apparently the default center point that is provided for our circle is slightly shaded to the west, so if it’s close, please use the method advised above, if at all possible. To put it in more physical terms, the Coronado ‘seep’ is just in (7.488 miles from center), and the Newport ‘puddle’ is not (7.568 miles). In Montecito, almost all of Manning Park on the WEST side of San Ysidro Road is just in.

Links of Interest

Christmas Bird Counts (CBCs) have a long history of over 100 years, and are sponsored by the National Audubon Society. Their CBC page is located at http://birds.audubon.org/christmas-bird-count . Results may be found there.

The Santa Barbara Natural History Museum generously makes available their Fleischmann Auditorium for our compilation dinner, maintains our compiled bird count records, and has a long and storied relationship with local ornithology. Check out their newly renovated campus and bird hall! They are at http://www.sbnature.org/ .

Find out about local sightings and information concerning SB County birds at the groups.io community group site https://sbcobirding.groups.io/g/main .

For checklists, a regional birding guide, and much more, check out http://www.sbcobirding.com/ .