Thanks to everyone who participated in our Christmas Bird Count which was held on SATURDAY, DECEMBER 31, 2016.
Our count was 196 species. On February 27, 2017, the four compilers sent off the official 117th results to the National Audubon Society.
This total is Santa Barbara’s lowest in over 25 years, and many factors have played a part. The drought and its impact on wintering species has finally caught up to us—the birds are simply not here. The day’s weather conditions also made finding anything a challenge, so individual totals for many species—particularly land birds—were low. During the compiling process the week after Count Day, we consistently found many numbers down a third or more from normal. And as we are learning from other Southern California counts, similar trends were evident in many places. [Excerpt from Rebecca Coulter’s post-count summary, the full text may be found under “Latest Count Results”]
Rebecca Coulter, Jared Dawson, Joan Murdoch, and Liz Muraoka
SB CBC Coordinators
above photo of Eurasian Wigeon taken by Jared Dawson; these birds were counted on the 117th CBC