DEC 14, 2013 Springville Christmas Bird Count
Christmas Bird Counts
Saturday, December 14, 2013
Contact Dane Fagundes
Saturday, December 14, 2013
Contact Savannah Boiano
Sunday, January 5, 2014
Contact Rob Hansen
Compiler: Dane Fagundes
Well, well, well...TCAS friends and members, it’s getting to be that time of the year again! The 114th annual Christmas Bird Count season has arrived! Time for folks to mark their calendars to participate in one or more of the three annual Christmas Bird Counts that take place in Tulare County each winter. There is NO FEE to participate in Christmas Bird Counts! To RSVP, contact the Christmas Bird Count coordinator for that specific count; this allows them to arrange a team of birders to cover each territory. Bring binoculars, a spotting scope (if you have one), a lunch, water , clothing for unpredictable weather, and your enthusiasm.
Here is your chance to be a citizen scientist, helping to collect important data that is used to monitor the wintering populations of birds. Everyone can participate regardless of your birding expertise. Our job is to count every bird within a 15-mile diameter circle in 24 hours. Obviously, the more birders, the more complete our data will be. We need more eyes, because every Scrub Jay and House Finch counts!
Spotters, recorders, counters, and feeder-watchers are all needed. We would like to split our 15-mile diameter circle into many smaller sections with each section being carefully covered by a team of 3 or more birders, with an experienced birder leading every team. All are encouraged to take part in this fun and worthwhile event. Experienced birders love having less experienced birders along to help count and keep up the energy. You may participate in all or part of the day as you wish.
Those participating in the counts rise early in the morning and arrive at a central destination, get assembled into teams, and then these teams are each assigned a certain territory to cover. To the greatest extent possible, all of the birds in the area are identified and counted, and the totals are turned into the leader during a countdown dinner at the end of the day. Statistics from all bird counts around the country are used to monitor bird populations at the national level.
The 41st Springville Count often produces over 140 species, covers Lake Success, Springville to SCICON and the Milo Fire Station, and to the edge of Balch Park and the Tule Indian Reservation. In year’s past, with 30 participants, we were able to create some new territories to cover our circle better, which resulted in 146 species! We hope to have even more participants this year so we can finally reach the elite 150 species club. With enough participation, we have a chance to lead the nation in counting the most individuals for several oak woodland species, including Western Screech Owls! Typically, both Bald and Golden Eagles are seen each year. Past years highlights included an Eurasian Wigeon, Eurasian Teal, Red-breasted Merganser, Common Goldeneye, Tundra Swan, Snow Goose, Greater White-fronted Goose, Northern Goshawk, Rough-legged Hawk, Clark's Nutcracker, Hooded Merganser, Pacific Loon, Peregrine Falcon, Long-eared Owl, Common Poorwill, Mountain Quail, Costa’s and Selasphorus Hummingbirds, Barn Swallows, Gray Catbird, Townsend’s Warbler, Black-throated Grey Warbler, Yellow-breasted Chat, Swamp Sparrow, Black-throated Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, Cassin’s Finch, and Red-naped and Yellow- bellied Sapsuckers! Anyone wishing to participate on this count should notify Dane Fagundes (559) 280-7840 email@example.com, and he will assign you to a section and put you in contact with the section leader for meeting location and time details. After the count, we will share our results at a countdown dinner around 5:00 p.m. at the El Nuevo Mexicali 3 Restaurant at 35258 Hwy 190 in Springville.
This will be the 14th Sequoia Count, which is sponsored by Sequoia Natural History Association. In year’s past, nearly 40 volunteers spent a day in beautiful Sequoia National Park counting as many as 69 species!
Highlights on past Sequoia Counts include Sooty Grouse, Golden Eagle, Northern Goshawk, Pileated and White-headed Woodpeckers, Mountain Quail, Peregrine Falcon, Varied Thrush, Pygmy Owl, Red-naped Sapsucker, American Dipper, Townsend’s Solitaire, Mountain Bluebird, Phainopepla, Townsend’s and Hermit Warblers, Vesper Sparrow, and lots of bears!
Savannah Boiano, the count compiler,is asking all participants to register in advance at firstname.lastname@example.org or (559) 565-4222. This ensures that the park entrance station is prepared to greet all our volunteers. Participants will be signed up as national park service volunteers, so you won’t need to pay the park entrance fee.
Meet at the Foothills Visitor Center just inside the Ash Mountain Entrance on CA 198 at 7:15 am on Saturday, December 14th. The countdown dinner will be at Casa Mendoza Restaurant (40869 Sierra Dr. 559-561-7283) in Three Rivers about 5:00 p.m.
The Kaweah Count sometimes produces over 130 bird species and it covers Bravo Lake, Kaweah Reservoir, Woodlake, Kaweah Oaks Preserve, Exeter, Rocky Hill, Dry Creek, and Yokohl Valley. Both Bald and Golden Eagles are typically recorded, as well as Ferruginous Hawks, Osprey, Merlins, Prairie Falcons, Hooded Mergansers, Greater Roadrunners, American Dippers, American Bitterns, Virginia Rails, Soras, Mountain Bluebirds, Phainopelas, Lewis’ Woodpeckers, Tri-colored Blackbirds, Great-tailed Grackles, and 5 species of Owls! Past highlights Pacific loon, Eurasian wigeon, Eurasian teal, red-breasted merganser, common goldeneye, snow, Ross’s, cackling, and greater white-fronted geese, horned grebe, peregrine falcon, Costa’s hummingbird, red-naped sapsuckers, Hammond’s flycatcher, “western” flycatcher, Cassin’s vireo, green-tailed towhee, sage thrasher, black-throated sparrow, Harris’s sparrow, and Lawrence’s goldfinch. To participate, please contact Rob Hansen at 559-799-7181 (cell) or email@example.com. Most groups will meet at the entrance to Kaweah Oaks Preserve at 7:00 a.m. on Sunday, January 5, 2014. The countdown dinner will be at Todd's Pizza Factory, 250 E. Antelope Ave. in Woodlake around 5:00 p.m.
For more information, or an opportunity to participate in other Christmas Bird Counts in other counties, please visit Alison Sheehey’s website
http://www.natureali.org/cbcs.htm . Other nearby Christmas Bird Counts and their compilers include:
Sunday, December 15: Yosemite CBC (Mariposa Co.) Sarah Stock
(209) 379-1435. firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, December 18: Bakersfield CBC (Kern Co.) John Wilson
Saturday, December 21: Buena Vista CBC (Kern Co.)-
Alison Sheehey, 760-417-O268 email@example.com
Sunday, December 22: Santa Maria-Guadalupe CBC (Santa Barbara Co.) Alex Abela (805) 934-2873 firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday, December 23: Tehachapi CBC (Kern Co.) Larry Parmeter
(559) 275-8753 email@example.com
Thursday, December 26: Los Banos CBC (Merced Co.) Harold Reeve and John Fulton- firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, December 27: Monterey Peninsula CBC (Monterey Co.) Blake Matheson (831) 596-9990 email@example.com
Wednesday, January 1, 2014: Moss Landing CBC (Monterey Co.) Bob Ramer (831) 426-7342 firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, January 3: Merced NWR CBC (Merced Co.) Larry Parmeter
(559) 275-8753 email@example.com
Sunday, January 5: Kern River Valley CBC (Kern Co,)- Tim Ludwick
Plan to set aside a day or two now for the upcoming 114th Annual Christmas Bird Counts. This is a great opportunity to contribute to data used to document wintering population; CBCs are both fun and rewarding!
History of the Christmas Bird Count
Prior to the turn of the century, people engaged in a holiday tradition known as the Christmas "Side Hunt": They would choose sides and go afield with their guns; whoever brought in the biggest pile of feathered (and furred) quarry won.
Conservation was in its beginning stages around the turn of the 20th century, and many observers and scientists were becoming concerned about declining bird populations. Beginning on Christmas Day 1900, ornithologist Frank Chapman, an early officer in the then budding Audubon Society, proposed a new holiday tradition-a "Christmas Bird Census"-that would count birds in the holidays rather than hunt them.
So began the Christmas Bird Count. Thanks to the inspiration of Frank M. Chapman and the enthusiasm of twenty-seven dedicated birders, twenty-five Christmas Bird Counts were held that day. The locations ranged from Toronto, Ontario to Pacific Grove, California, with most counts in or near the population centers of northeastern North America. Those original 27 Christmas Bird Counters tallied 89 species on all the counts combined! Over its 114-year history, the annual Christmas Bird Count has grown from just 25 counts to now over 2,300 count circles, and from merely 27 counters to around 60,000 participants! Realize that the Springville Count (which counts over 140 different bird species) and the Kaweah Count (which counts over 120 different bird species) both tally more than 89 species, which was the grand total seen by all of the 25 original counts combined! Furthermore, the Sequoia Count and Springville Count each sometimes have more counters than the 27 total participants that partook in all 25 of the original 1900 censuses.