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Christmas Bird Count: Saturday, December 19

December 7, 2015

Strange to say, but our coastal Audubon chapter runs a Christmas Count in the desert, with the circle center at Butterbredt Peak north of Mojave. For those not familiar with a CBC (Christmas Bird Count) the deal is we spend the day counting every bird we see inside a circle 15 miles across. The area any one person or group of people might cover depends on how many people we get to come. The compiler makes a list of all sightings and sends it to the Big Bird Computer at Cornell University, which makes this a ……

Citizen Science event. The data gathered on Christmas Counts (over 2,300 of them) is available for use by researchers in, for instance, bird populations and climate change. This is your chance to contribute to the advancement of science.

This is the one trip every year where you can count on meeting real birders, the kind that bring their cross-country skis when the weather turns iffy. No latté-sipping wimps on this trip! All seriousness aside, dress warmly, pack a lunch and snacks and be ready to spend all daylight time (it gets dark around 4:30 p.m.) in the Butterbredt count circle as we do our part to count all the birds that were too macho to fly south for the winter.

On previous trips we’ve seen: Mountain & California Quail, Western Screech-Owl & Great Horned Owl, Ladder-backed & Nuttall’s Woodpeckers, Loggerhead Shrike, Steller’s, Western Scrub- & Pinyon Jays, Rock Wren, California & LeConte’s Thrashers, Black-throated, Sagebrush & Golden-crowned Sparrows and Pine Siskins.

Family guide: long car ride, cold weather; gotta love the birds.

[Directions] Contact coordinator Chuck Bragg (braggjr67 at for exact instructions (the count circle instructions are different from our regular field trips to Butterbredt). We’ll be happy to arrange carpools if we get enough drivers.


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