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The 72nd Eugene Christmas Bird Count (ECBC) took place on Sunday, December 29, 2013, when 139 enthusiastic bird-watchers went looking for birds. Another 99 reported birds seen at their homes to Herb Wisner, Feeder Watcher Coordinator. Birders in the field and those at home recorded a combined total of 133 species, which is the average number of species seen on the past six ECBCs.
The 139 participants were grouped into 25 teams, each led by an expert bird-watcher. The teams walked 119.5 miles in 171.5 hours. They also drove 491.5 miles in 74.25 hours. Six teams went owling for eight hours and covered 38 miles. Jim Maloney’s team (#15) had the most members with 14, followed by Bruce Newhouse (#20B) with 10 members and Dave Bontrager (#14) with nine members.
Vjera Thompson, Team Leader for Area #10A, wore her pedometer and registered over 24,000 steps. That computes to over 10 miles of walking and looking for birds. She said that a couple of years ago she recorded about 30,000 steps on the ECBC! We had two Robins (Wisner and Hartmann) on this year’s count and one Starling (Nate).
At the end of the day, 101 tired birders came to the LCAS-sponsored Chili Feed to talk about all the birds they saw and to participate in the countdown. Allison Mickel prepared almost 10 gallons of homemade vegetarian chili to share with everyone. Sandy Poinsett and Kathy Wilson assisted Allison in organizing the room, setting up tables and chairs, serving chili, and cleaning up afterward. Bruce Wilson and others helped with the cleanup. The Chili Feed was a fun way to end a great day of birding.
I personally want to thank Allison and her crew for the Chili Feed, Dan Gleason for compiling the results, Herb Wisner for coordinating the Feeder Watchers, and the 25 Team Leaders. Without the Team Leaders’ hard work of assembling their teams, guiding them all day, and reporting the results, the ECBC would not be the great event that it is.
Be sure to mark Sunday, December 28, 2014, on your calendar for the 2014 ECBC. Please plan to join a team or be a Feeder Watcher for a full, fun day of birding. Your results will be entered into the 114-year record of all the Christmas Bird Counts around the continent, and they are used by scientists for research on bird life. The results of all the CBCs are on the National Audubon Society’s website at www.christmasbirdcount.org. The code for LCAS is OREU.
Thanks again to all of you who participated and helped to make the 2013 ECBC one of the biggest and best in the country!
Visit our Field Notes page to read individual reports and tallies from Eugene, Florence, and Oakridge.