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Red-shafted flicker at feeder

CBC–Cottage Grove 

By Grace Fowler-Gore, Count Coordinator and Compiler

Eight of us gathered at 6:30 am, Saturday, December 30, to enjoy a delicious hot breakfast at Vintage Inn. At the end of the day, 14 of us gathered at El Tapatio Mexican Restaurant to attempt an old-fashioned call-out-the-species Countdown. Alas, the restaurant was too noisy for us to make it through the entire list. However, we did enjoy discussing the adventures we had trying to find those hiding birds. The morning was eerily quiet for a number of us Counters. The weather was wet this year, with only short breaks from the rain. Temperatures ranged from the 40s into the 50s. No new species were spotted since the Count started in 1971. However, we did have two Western Meadowlarks, spotted by Anne and Dan Heyerly. None had been seen since we restarted the Cottage Grove Count in 2017. For more details about the birds, see the Cottage Grove tab on the Christmas Bird Count page.


By Vjera Thompson, Count Compiler

The 39th Florence Christmas Bird Count was held on Saturday, December 16, 2023. We had our largest turnout ever with 57 birders in the field and 11 Home Counters (previous high was 47 and 11, respectively, in 2012). The weather was sunny with a brisk east breeze at some locations; it warmed up in the afternoon and was almost balmy on the beach. For the first time since 2019, we met together in person afterwards and had an enjoyable Countdown at Best Thai in Florence.

We recorded 128 species, down from last year’s robust 138, but better than six of the last 10 years. We added an additional six species during Count Week: Eared Grebe, Clark’s Grebe, Northern Fulmar, Brown Pelican, Peregrine Falcon, and Lesser Goldfinch.

We found several good birds for this count: 3 Band-tailed Pigeons (seen on 7 previous counts of 38), 5 Brants (12), 5 Rhino Auklets (13), and 12 Marbled Murrelets, second highest count since 2005. A possible Sedge Wren was seen, but unfortunately not well enough to include in the official numbers. We found Wild Turkey for the third year in a row. For more details, see the Florence tab on the Christmas Bird Count page.


By Joel Geier, Count Coordinator and Compiler

Ten volunteers enjoyed better-than-usual weather for the Oakridge CBC on December 29, with temperatures rising to 60 degrees F in the afternoon. There was no snow or ice in most of the circle, and less than an inch of snow at the highest elevations (above 3,000 ft). Strong winds from a warm front moving through may have suppressed forest bird activity, especially along the ridge lines. But thankfully, rain held off until 3:30 pm, just a half hour before the Count ended.

Overall species diversity was good with 73 species counted. The most unusual bird was a Mountain Chickadee found by Chad Marks-Fife, Jenna Curtis, and Deb Hill up around 3,100 ft on Forest Road 2110 above Packard Creek, in a flock that also included the only warblers of the day, two Townsend’s Warblers. For more details, see the Oakridge tab on the Christmas Bird Count page.