Hello birders,
The official results for the 115th Santa Barbara CBC on 3 January, 2015, have been completed and sent to the National Audubon Society.

Species Total: 214, which tops the list for California CBCs, and is second in the United States and Canada; only the Matagorda County-Mad Island Marsh (Texas) had a higher total.

BLACK SCOTER, two at Harbor

MOUNTAIN QUAIL, Arroyo Burro Trail


RED PHALAROPE, seen during sea watch at Coal Oil Point, including a small group swimming in the kelp beds just offshore

ANCIENT MURRELET, seen from the boat on count day and from shore during count week

CASSIN’S AUKLET, during a sea watch at Coal Oil Point, and not recorded on the CBC since 1996

COMMON GROUND DOVE, four on private orchards


COMMON POORWILL, seen on the road at 5:45 PM near East Camino Cielo, a big surprise given the cold temperatures

COSTA’S HUMMINGBIRD, 2 birds at backyard feeders/salvia

LEWIS’S WOODPECKER, a count day surprise at Stevens Park

YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER, both birds not seen before count day, one along McCaw Avenue near the Municipal Golf Course, one on Glendessary Lane in Mission Canyon

VERMILION FLYCATCHER, continuing adult female at North Campus Open Space (formerly Ocean Meadows Golf Course)

DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER, not seen on the CBC since 2005, this surprise was found at Storke Family Housing near the UCSB campus

TROPICAL KINGBIRD, likely the same bird seen near the UPS building on Pine Avenue and at the nearby Goleta Sewage Treatment Plant

BARN SWALLOW, one in Isla Vista, one at Goleta Sewage Treatment Plant

LUCY’S WARBLER, one on private agricultural fields in Goleta; the occasionally seen bird near Pesetas Lane in Santa Barbara was not located on count day

GRACE’S WARBLER, the returning bird at North Campus Open Space

PAINTED REDSTART, in Rocky Nook Park

GRASSHOPPER SPARROW, at Elings Park and San Marcos Foothills

HARRIS’S SPARROW, coming to a private feeder near San Jose Creek since December

LAWRENCE’S GOLDFINCH, one at Upper Oso Camp, off Paradise Road

Notable misses:

TUFTED DUCK, seen only twice in December, was absent from all visited ponds, reservoirs, lagoons




LESSER NIGHTHAWK, both recently-seen birds (Coal Oil Point and Montecito Country Club) did not show on count day


BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER, last year’s count was 7!

Of interest to many birders this season, we were anxious to tally Varied Thrush numbers. The high count among individual routes on Saturday was 96 in Hope Ranch. This year’s overall total, 200, is the highest since 1977, when 355 birds were recorded, the highest number ever on any Santa Barbara CBC (though mountain coverage on the CBC was more limited prior to the 1960s). For more details see the blog post “How many thrushes, part 2…” There are also some photos to see on our blog as well.

Thanks to Santa Barbara Audubon, the CBC compilation committee, and all the dedicated birders who made this effort possible.

Rebecca Coulter, Jared Dawson, and Joan Murdoch
SB CBC Coordinators


(photo above of a Lewis’s Woodpecker taken by Adam Lewis at Lake Los Carneros on January 2, 2010, on the 110th Christmas Bird Count day in Santa Barbara)