Spend a fun day outdoors counting individual birds and species, and contributing to our understanding of bird populations! Both beginners and experienced birders welcome. We are sponsoring the following THREE counts in winter 2023.
Sunday, December 17, 2023
The Oakland count circle extends from Treasure Island northeast to the San Pablo Reservoir in Contra Costa County, and south to St. Mary’s College in Moraga and the Oakland International Airport.
Organizers: Viviana Wolinsky & Dawn Lemoine
San Francisco CBC
Wednesday, December 27, 2023
The San Francisco count circle includes the north tower of the Golden Gate Bridge and all of San Francisco, and reaches down the peninsula to San Bruno Mountain and the wetlands north of the San Francisco International Airport.
Organizers: David Assmann & Siobhan Ruck
About The CBC
The Annual Christmas Bird Count, sponsored by the National Audubon Society and conducted by volunteers, is the nation’s longest running citizen science bird project. Between mid-December and early-January, counts held annually throughout North America attempt to record every individual bird observed within a defined 15-mile diameter — about 177 square miles — during one calendar day.
Every December, hundreds of Bay Area birders take part in Golden Gate Bird Alliance’s Christmas Bird Counts (CBCs). From before dawn until dusk, they trek through parks, neighborhoods, and wetlands, venture out in boats on the bay, and skirt reservoirs and bayside mudflats to identify the species and count the numbers of birds at every site. Check out past CBC results here.
CBC data is an invaluable tool for scientists studying bird populations and was one of the key sources of data in National Audubon’s September 2014 report on North American birds and climate change.
Each count day typically culminates with a festive dinner where final counts were tallied and stories exchanged about rare bird sightings and locations. Local CBC data are reviewed and then sent to National Audubon Society, where they provide valuable insight into past and present bird populations and the general health of our environment.
The CBC Dinners require attendees to register in advance and pay $35 per/person to cover food, drink and venue costs.
Participating as a Field Observer is a great way to meet other birders and work as a group to collect valuable data for bird conservation. Each count circle is broken up into survey areas led by area captains which you will be assigned to based on your registration responses/preferences. Once you are assigned to an area and leader, the area leader will contact you with the day-of itinerary.
Of course, the easiest way to participate in the Christmas Bird Count is from the comfort of your own home. As long as you live within the count circle you wish to participate in (click here for the count maps, you can contribute your observations to our CBC data set by birdwatching from a single spot at your residence.
How To Participate as a Feeder Watcher
1. Create an Account/Login via eBird to track and share your observations. Consider downloading the app for mobile use. (If you do not wish to use eBird, contact the co-compilers for additional resources and instructions) .
3. On the day of your count spend a set time (min 15 minutes) counting birds from your viewing spot. (Check out this article on how to count birds from home, by clicking here)
4. Log your observations in eBird by making a checklist (click here to learn how) and share your checklist with your co-compilers by the end of the day of each count.