By Dick Lamster, Count Coordinator The 80th Eugene Christmas Bird Count (ECBC) was held on…
This year marks the 74th Eugene Christmas Bird Count (ECBC) and the 116th National Audubon Society (NAS) Christmas Bird Count. The ECBC this year will be on Sunday, January 3, 2016. Our 15-mile diameter count circle is centered in the Danebo area of Eugene and is divided into 27 areas, each with a Team Leader. The Team Leaders organize the teams, lead the groups through the area during the count day, and then submit the results to the ECBC Steering Committee.
Dick Lamster is the Count Coordinator, and he will work with NAS on the administrative tasks of the count. He will also coordinate with the Team Leaders, handle publicity, cowrite the postcount narrative, and assign new participants to teams. If you want to participate this year and were not on a team last year or you want to change teams, call Dick at 541.343.8664. Otherwise, call your Team Leader from last year (although he or she might be calling you soon).
Dan Gleason (541.345.0450) will accept the bird checklists from the Team Leaders at the end of the count, hopefully at the chili feed. He will also review rare and unusual bird sightings and then submit all the results to NAS. Dan will also work with Dick to prepare the postcount narrative.
If you cannot participate on a count team but would like to count the birds that visit your yard, please call Herb Wisner at 541.344.3634. Herb is in charge of the Feeder Watchers and will assist you in recording the birds you see and including them in the official count. He will send you a form to help you record birds, coordinate your sightings with the leader of the count area you live in so that birds are not reported twice, and submit your sightings to Dan to be included in the official results. Please call Herb by December 28 if you would like to be a Feeder Watcher.
All Team Leaders and count participants are invited to gather after the count at the Eugene Garden Club at 1645 High Street for the traditional chili feed. Allison Mickel, assisted by Sandy Poinsett and Kathy Wilson, will once again provide her homemade vegetarian chili for this fun ending to a day full of birding. We will tally results and swap stories of the day’s sightings. The door to the Garden Club will open around 3:30 p.m. so you can stop by as soon as you finish your count. The free chili feed will begin around 5:00 p.m. Lane County Audubon Society will furnish the chili along with salad, dinner rolls, chips, coffee, tea, and hot chocolate. Please bring a dessert to share with others plus your own table service, including plate, bowl, cup, and silverware. If you would like to drink something other than what we provide, bring that too. I really encourage you to join us for this delicious ending to a long day.
Last Year’s Results
Last year we had 146 birders in the field and 90 Feeder Watchers, for a total of 236 participants. The entire group identified 133 species on count day. This is about an average number for the ECBC. Our record, established in 2005, is 140 plus two more during count week.
We recorded 120,698 individual birds. This is a high number for our count, but does not surpass the record of 129,874 in 2000. You can view results of last year’s ECBC, as well as all the other Christmas Bird Counts in North America, at www.christmasbirdcount.org. Our count code is OREU.
We hope you can join us for this year’s ECBC. We look forward to seeing you on Sunday, January 3!
Christmas Bird Count Opportunities in Oregon
In addition to the Eugene Christmas Bird Count, two other Christmas Bird Counts (CBC) are planned for Lane County. The Oakridge CBC will take place on Friday, December 18. Contact Joel Geier at email@example.com for more information and to sign up. The Florence CBC is scheduled for Saturday, December 19. Contact Kit Larsen at firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up.
The very first Reedsport CBC will take place on Wednesday, December 30. Contact Matt Hunter email@example.com for more information. For a complete list of the over 40 CBCs in Oregon, visit www.orbirds.org/cbc.html.