2018 Eugene Christmas Bird Count

by Dick Lamster, Count Coordinator

The 27 observer teams in the 77th ECBC mobilized on Sunday, December 30. For the first time in recent memory, the Eugene Christmas Bird Count (ECBC) had good weather—a day with no ice, no snow, and no wind! The sun even came out for a short time. And just to remind us it was December in Oregon, it did rain for a few minutes mid-afternoon.

The 155 Field Observers, along with the 76 Home Counters, identified 131 species of birds, plus three more during Count Week. That’s a total of 77,239 individual birds. These numbers are about average for the past few years. Our species record of 140, plus 2 more during Count Week, was set in 2005. Our record of 129,874 individual birds was set in 2000. A complete listing and analysis by the Species Compiler, Vjera Thompson, can be found on this website under Resources/Christmas Bird Counts.

The number of Field Observers came close to our record of 157 in 2012. Last year we had the 10th largest Christmas Bird Count in number of participants out of the 2,585 Christmas Bird Counts in the U.S., Canada, and Latin America. This year there were 52 CBCs in Oregon. A complete listing of all the CBCs and previous year’s results can be found on the National Audubon Society’s website at christmasbirdcount.org. The code for the ECBC is OREU.

Our Field Observers walked 129 miles in 148 hours and drove 571 miles in 89 hours. We also had two observers who looked for birds from their bicycles for 4 hours and rode for 6 miles. Eight teams went owling in the dark for 11 hours, covering 30 miles. The 76 Home Counters watched birds for approximately 217 hours.

At the end of the day, 110 tired, cold, muddy but happy birders gathered for the LCAS-sponsored Chili Feed to share stories and participate in the traditional Countdown. Allison Mickel prepared over 12 gallons of homemade vegetarian chili for the group, which was served along with dinner rolls, chips, and salad. Everyone attending brought a dessert to share with others. This year, Rebecca Waterman and the Cornbread Café also provided fresh cornbread for everyone. A special thank you goes to them. Sandy Poinsett and Kathy Wilson set up the tables and chairs, arranged the serving tables, organized the rooms, and served chili to everyone. Bruce Wilson and his Clean-up Crew of Charlie Thomas, Scott Spearman, and Rob Mertz had the room looking spotless in record time. The Chili Feed always makes a fun ending to a great day of birding.

A big thank you also goes to Herb Wisner for organizing the Home Counters, Vjera Thompson for compiling the results, and the 27 Team Leaders whose names appear below. Without the Team Leaders’ hard work of assembling their teams, guiding them all day, and then reporting the results, the ECBC would not be the great event it is today.

For next year, be sure to mark December 29 on your new calendar for the 2019 ECBC.

Thanks again to all of you who participated and helped to make the 2018 ECBC one of the biggest and best in the country!

Team Leaders by Area

1:     Ron Renchler

2:     Jim Regali

3A:   Dan Heyerly

3B:   Darryl Wisner

4:     Rick Ahrens

5A:   Donna Albino

5B:   Diane Horgan

6:     Kit Larsen

7:     Roger Robb

8:     Dave Kofranek

9:     Tom Mickel

10:   Vjera Thompson

11A:David Novak

11B:Dick Lamster

12A:Steve Gordon

12B:Thomas Meinzen

13A:Charlie Thomas

13B:Holly Hartmann

14:   Dave Bontrager

15:   Jim Maloney

16:   Linda Gilbert

17:   Rebecca Waterman

18:   Caryn Stoess

19:   Barbara Combs

20A:Brandon Green

20B:Bruce Newhouse

21:   Ellen Cantor