On Saturday, December 18, in the middle of a five-day rainstorm that blanketed southern California, 60 intrepid birding enthusiasts combed mountains, chaparral, lowlands, marshes, beaches and ocean in the Carpinteria area from Fernald Point to Rincon and from the ocean to Jameson Lake. The impetus for this annual adventure is the National Audubon Society’s Christmas Bird Count, conducted by local citizen scientists in 2,500 carefully-prescribed areas throughout the Western Hemisphere. Data and observations from all the participating areas are collated, providing insight into variations in bird demographics and geography.
This year’s Carpinteria group ferreted out 143 different species of birds; 10,425 individual birds all told. Although this count was slightly lower than last year’s inaugural, given the weather conditions all were satisfied with the results. It rained pretty much continuously all day, but that did not stop the sixty dedicated birders who were determined to make this count a success. The effort was aided by several supportive land-owners who allowed groups to explore their large and sometimes remote properties.
With increased participation in the future and even more private areas hopefully becoming open to us, we expect our count figures to grow in future years. If you’d like to be part of our next Christmas Bird Count, or if you’d like more information, contact Rob Denholtz, 684-4060 or firstname.lastname@example.org.