AUDUBON CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT IN HOMER
Nationally, this will be the 114th Audubon Christmas Bird Count and it is an excellent opportunity to participate in the largest and longest-running Citizen Science activity in the whole country. The first count in Homer was 1965 and there have been regular CBCs in Homer since 1973. Dave Erikson has organized and led them for over 35 years!
Our Christmas Bird Count will be held on Saturday, December 14th. Meet at 8:30 am at Islands and Ocean Visitor Center in the Seminar Room. We will have coffee/tea and breakfast breads to enjoy while teams are formed and Dave Erikson assigns areas. Birding commences at first light... We will return by 4:00 pm to tabulate the results and enjoy a potluck meal.
All levels of birders are welcome—novice birders team up with those with more experience, and, it is a good family activity. There is no charge again this year. Bring optics and dress warmly. Bring a dish to share for the potluck. (We use the plates, silverware, etc. there so you don’t need to bring them for yourselves.)
In the last ten years, the average number of species found here has been about 62. Some years are dreadfully cold, in some years snow and wind make visibility difficult even at mid-day, but then sometimes we have nice, sunny, longer days, sometimes even with significantly more open water. Almost every year a surprise, wonderful, unexpected bird is found! One year it was a Purple Finch, another year a Mountain Bluebird... Emperor Goose...Wilson’s Warbler! You never know what will be found with so many birders out there searching the area all day! There are usually about 25 people who participate, possibly more if feeder-watchers and owl-counters are included.
FEEDER-WATCHERS and OWL-COUNTERS
Anyone living within our “count circle” may count birds seen in their yard/feeder and anyone planning to count owls during that 24 hour period should check in with to Dave Erikson ahead of time. These species/numbers are included in with our totals. The center of our “count circle” is in Mud Bay and a radius of 7.5 miles. Roughly this goes to Fritz Creek to the east, up to Diamond Creek where it empties into the Inlet, and includes all the Spit, Homer and above the Homer bench.
COUNT WEEK defined:
In addition to the bird species and numbers tabulated on the CBC day itself, additional species may be added from three days before the count day and three days after the count day; they are designated “count week” species. This will be from Dec. 11th to the 13th and from the 15th to the 17th. Any unusual species you see within the count circle during those days should be reported to Dave Erikson or Lani Raymond.
WINTER BIRD IDENTIFICATION CLASS
On December 12th Dave Erikson is teaching a class to help folks brush up on their winter birding ID skills or introduce beginners to the birds that winter here. It will be held at 6:30 pm in the Seminar Room at Islands and Ocean Visitor Center. No charge and everyone is welcome.
For more information about either of these events contact:
Dave Erikson 235-3487
BJ Hitchcock 235-1265