Shelia Hargis

Austin CBC 2017 will be held on December 16.

We are a little more than two months away from the 2017 Austin CBC. We will have at least 18 teams in the field finding as many of the birds as possible. Hopefully we'll have all the expected species and several unexpected ones. If you haven't signed up yet, we have room for a few more participants. Email me at austincbc@gmail.com.

Here's some guidance and advice to the teams:

The website has all the paperwork in the Important Documents section (updated checklist for 2016, effort sheet, participant sheet and rare bird form). The data needed to document effort is sometimes challenging and/or confusing. Please read the Effort Data - Important Considerations document before going out in the field on count day.

Maps are also available on the website.  A link to an interactive version of the map is on the website too.

The countdown dinner starts around 6:00p at Catfish Parlour South, 4705 E Ben White Blvd, 78741. We will be in their banquet room. We'll eat, complete paperwork and then countdown our species. I recommend bringing cash since I'm not sure they will provide separate tickets for everyone.

Paperwork: Compilers must receive all paperwork as soon after the count is completed as possible. I would like to get all of your completed paperwork from you before you leave the countdown dinner.  

Now, to the birds. Please look closely at all the birds. Don't just assume they are our usual birds. If you happen to find an unexpected species (in bold on the checklist or not on the checklist at all), please document it thoroughly,  preferably in the field at the time of the sighting or shortly thereafter. And get photos if possible. Send rare bird photos to this email address.

If you can take some pictures of your group while you're out in the field, I'd love to have them to add to our CBC photo collection. Feel free to send them to me at the email address above. 

The CBC is free this year but if you would like to donate to this worthwhile citizen science endeavor, you can do so at http://www.audubon.org/conservation/science/christmas-bird-count. Your donation goes toward the analysis of the data collected by many, many CBC'ers. There is lots of interesting information about CBCs on this website also.

THANK YOU for a great 2015 count!

Thank you to everyone who participated in the 2015 Austin CBC on December 19th! I appreciate all of the help and enthusiasm that you bring to the count each year!

Our total for the count was 145 species. From 2000 to present, our highest count (excluding count week species) was 152 in 2012. Our lowest was 129 in 2001. So this year wasn't bad, it just wasn't a record-breaker. We recorded 49,467 individuals!

We had no count week species. Even a review of eBird data didn't provide any extra species for us.

We had 119 observers in the field, comprising 23 - 26 parties in the field at any one time for a total of 218.5 party hours and a total distance of 535.75 miles. We also had five birders watching feeders at different times during the day. Our total participant count (in the field and at feeders) was 120. That's fantastic! 

Unusual Species (those requiring documentation) were:
Swan Goose (5; not established nor countable but this is the first time they have been recorded during the count)
White-faced Ibis (1)
Black Phoebe (1)
Common Raven (2)

We had high counts for the following species: 
Snowy Egret (139)
Little Blue Heron (18)
Black Vulture (947)
Osprey (25)
Crested Caracara (63)
Monk Parakeet (407)
Carolina Wren (427)
Orange-crowned Warbler (198)
Pyrrhuloxia (9)

We didn't have any low counts this year but we did have a few obvious misses:
Black-bellied Whistling-Duck
Cinnamon Teal
Vermilion Flycatcher
Couch's Kingbird
Grasshopper Sparrow

The final report is attached to the bottom of this page.

Shelia Hargis,
Jan 14, 2016, 4:53 AM