2021 Christmas Bird Count






CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT—We need more volunteers!

December 18th from 9:00 am-4:30 pm

If you want to participate and you’re not already signed up, contact Dave Erikson, Coordinator/Compiler:

 907-441-7931, derikson@alaska.net


COUNT WEEK—report birds to Dave Erikson

Count Week is three days before and three days after Count Day. This year that’s all day from December 15-17 AND from December 19-21.  [For Count Week we count every species that we did not find on Count Day; we do NOT count how many. Birds must be in the Count Circle.]

FEEDERWATCHERS—How else can you help?

Kathy Eagle, the Feederwatcher Coordinator, needs more Feederwatchers! They report birds that come to their feeders and yard on the Count Day.  Many good species have been found by Feederwatchers and they help to get a good count of the numbers of birds in an area.  If you can help, contact Kathy Eagle: call or text 907-232-3789, katheagle@gmail.com. [You must live within the “Count Circle”; if unsure, ask Kathy.]




The only birds we count for the Christmas Bird Count are those we find in the “Count Circle”. The diameter is 15 miles: the center is the intersection of Kachemak Drive and the Spit Rd., and the circle extends east to Fritz Creek, south past the end of the Spit, west to the mouth of Diamond Creek and to the north above town where there are few roads. (We do not go out in boats for our count.)


3. *INFORMATION FROM DAVE ERIKSON (Homer Coordinator/Compiler)

(12-2-21) Greetings fellow KBB members!

Once again, it’s time to start planning for the annual Homer Christmas Bird Count, which will be held on Saturday, December 18, 2021. Due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s count will be conducted in similar manner to last year’s count, which included a few restrictions to ensure the health and safety of all participants. These additional measures will allow us to get a good count and provide for the safety of everyone involved.

Modified count protocols from last year include:

  • No pre- or post-count meetings of count volunteers.
  • No post-count potluck dinner will be held again this year.
  • Count Area field team leaders will be selected in advance (preferably people who have counted the area in previous years).
  • A list of field team leaders for each area will be sent out in an email and posted on the website with contact information so interested team members can contact them directly.
  • Field team leaders will decide whether to census the whole count area together, as in the past, or divide up the count areas into smaller geographic areas and assign one person for each sub area.
  • If field teams travel together, members will drive in separate vehicles. Carpooling is allowed for household members, vaccinated individuals, or people in the same social “bubble”.
  • Field teams will observe a social distance of six feet when birding and masks or face-coverings will be worn as appropriate. Team members will also avoid sharing spotting scopes.
  • All data can be recorded either on eBird or on our regular field form and emailed to the compiler, Dave Erikson (derikson@alaska.net) the next day or soon after.
  • Team Leads will use our standard form or a note in eBird to record time birding, miles and times by methods of travel (vehicle and walking).

Regular count protocols include:

  • Start and finish times will be the same as previous years, 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM. Owling can occur during the hours of darkness on count day).
  • Record all bird species and numbers seen or heard in your count area during Count Day.
  • Record all bird species seen or heard within the count circle three days before and three days after the count day (Count Week).
  • Feeder watchers will record species, maximum numbers, and observation time in the same manner as previous years and submit results to the compiler.
  • CBC Rare Bird Forms will be completed for all bird species that are not on the Homer CBC Checklist.

We have been very fortunate in Homer to have many dedicated birders who have repeatedly volunteered their time and resources to make the Homer CBC a success over the past 45+ years and I’m confident, with everyone’s help, we can get a good count again this year.

Thank you for your continuing support,

Dave Erikson, Homer CBC Compiler (907 441-7260)




Bird Rhythms – April 2019

Kachemak Bay Birder, Dale Chorman talks about the more often heard, than seen bird – the Varied Thrush.  This bird’s call is unforgettable and is generally one of the first birds heard in the spring. 

Have you ever seen a murmuration?  This is a coordinated flocking mechanism used by birds where all they take off at once and fly in waves through the air.  Why the birds perform this behavior is not readily known.  Is it due to avoidance of a predator, like a Merlin or Peregrine Falcon?  In early May when the shorebirds return to Homer, they perform murmurations, sometimes so often you wonder when they actually feed.  

Bird Rhythms – February 2019

Kachemak Bay Birder Carol Harding, highlights the February Bird of the Month – Rock Sandpiper.  This hardy bird winters in Homer, and can be found roosting at high tide at the Homer Small Boat Harbor.  Carol also describes two different processes found in birds:  “irruptive” and “leucistic”.  The “irruptive” process, occurs where birds, not readily seen in the Homer area during the winter, appear in great numbers, such as the increase in the number of Red Crossbills this winter and last.  A “leucistic” bird is one that has white feathers, whole or in part.  These birds are not albinos, as they lack the red eye.  Listen to Carol as she explains these fascinating aspects of bird life. 

Meet the Corvids – Part 2: Jays and Magpie

The second installment of our “Meet the Corvids” was published in the Homer News on Thursday, April 14, 2018.  For a complete copy of the online version of the article go to: http://homernews.com/local-news/2018-04-12/year-bird-meet-corvids-part-ii

Black-billed Magpie – Photo by Robin Edwards

Gray Jay – Photo by Michelle Michaud

Juvenile Black-billed Magpie – Photo by Ronda McGhee

Steller’s Jay – Photo by Michelle Michaud

It’s A Great Day to Bird


2016 Shorebird Monitoring Schedule

2016 Homer Spit / Anchor River Shorebird Monitoring Times and Tides

Starting time is based on the quarter hour before the receding tide reaches 15.0 feet, or high tide if it doesn’t reach 15.0 feet using Seldovia tide tables. The tide correction between Seldovia and Homer is only +5 minutes.

Monitoring lasts for two hours.

Starting Seldovia High
Date Time Tide (ft.) Tide Time Tide (ft.)
Saturday, April 16 11:30 AM 14.2 11:36 AM 14.2
Thursday, April 21 4:45 PM 15.5 3:18 PM 17.7
Tuesday, April 26 7:00 PM 15.2 6:17 PM 15.6
Sunday, May 1 10:00 AM 14.0 10:14 AM 14.0
Friday, May 6 5:00 PM 16.0 3:14 PM 20.2
Wednesday, May 11 8:00 AM 15.2 6:15 AM 18.3
Monday, May 16 12:00 PM 13.6 12:05 PM 13.6
Saturday, May 21 5:00 PM 15.0 3:34 PM 17.1
Thursday, May 26 7:30 PM 15.4 6:49 PM 15.8

Starting times taken from:  http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/noaatidepredictions/viewDailyPredictions

2016 Kasilof River Shorebird Monitoring Times and Tides

Monitoring is based on when the incoming tide is about half way between low tide and high tide. This corresponds to beginning an hour before the tide at the Kenai River.

Entrance is at +10.0 feet. Monitoring last one and a half hours.

Monitoring  Times Kenai High
Date Start Finish Tide Time Tide (ft.)
Saturday, April 16 1:30 PM 16.1
Thursday, April 21 5:12 PM 19.6
Tuesday, April 26 8:11 PM 17.5
Sunday, May 1 12:08 PM 15.9
Friday, May 6 5:08 PM 22.1
Wednesday, May 11 9:19 PM 18.6
Monday, May 16 1:59 PM 15.5
Saturday, May 21 5:28 PM 19.0
Thursday, May 26 8:43 PM 17.7

Starting times taken from:  http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/noaatidepredictions/viewDailyPredictions


Christmas Bird Count

The Christmas Bird Count is the longest-running citizen science project in our nation, and in Homer it is always held on the first Saturday in the window (Dec. 14th to Jan. 5th).

The center of the 15-mile-diameter count circle is the intersection of Kachemak Drive and the Spit Rd. The circle extends east to Fritz Creek, south past the end of the Spit, west to the mouth of Diamond Creek and to the north where there are few roads. We do not go out in boats for our count.

Participants meet at 8:30 am at IOVC for coffee/tea/breakfast foods, get assigned to teams and areas, and then go out to count all the daylight hours. At 4:30 teams return and compile results and enjoy a warm potluck supper.

A few days before the event, Dave Erikson always teaches a class on “Winter Bird Identification”. This class is valuable for new birders as well as being an excellent opportunity for more experienced birders to brush up on what birds are in Homer in the winter.

COUNT WEEK continues until 17th at midnight

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 235-3487 derikson@alaska.net or Lani Raymond 399-9477 lani67@alaska.net

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