Information for Leaders


Saturday, December 30, 2017

Information for Group Leaders and Individual Birding Parties

Thanks so much for taking part in the Santa Barbara Audubon Society’s annual Christmas Bird Count. We appreciate your help! If you are in charge of an area and have not already done so, please call or e-mail the members of your party as soon as possible to set up your plans for Count Day.  Count Day is Saturday, December 30: midnight to midnight. Count Week is December 27 through January 2.

Everyone is urged to attend the compilation dinner at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History (Fleischmann Auditorium) on the evening of Count Day. Meals must be reserved ($17) by December 28 at 6 pm: click here to reserve.  If you don’t wish to purchase a meal, please bring your own food and dinner service: there is NO potluck meal. Dinner begins at 6:00; countdown begins at 7:00.

Best of luck and great birding!
Rebecca Coulter, Glenn Kincaid, Liz Muraoka, Joan Murdoch and Libby Patten Compilers

On Count Day

Unexpected Participants                                                                                    

You might encounter unexpected participants showing up at your site. Not a problem; just include them on your participant lists and thank you for being flexible.  We don’t expect this to happen often, but sometimes people just don’t mention to us that they are joining the effort! 

Midday Countdown: Goleta Beach at 12:30 near the restaurant

If you do NOT plan to attend the noon countdown, please communicate your stakeout/targets to the group by calling or texting Rebecca: 805-455-7040. Please leave brief but informative messages if necessary; we will not answer the phone during the 12:30 countdown. 

Smartphone reporting notification                                                              

Once again, we will use smartphone reporting for afternoon updates via texts and email. Contact Liz Muraoka to sign up for these afternoon reports: Lizmuraoka (at) gmail (dot) com

Participant Form                                                                                          

Complete the participant form and turn in with your species list/s at the dinner. Participation in the CBC is free so there is no money to collect. Please be specific about your birding locations on these forms so we know exactly where you went. Don’t forget to complete the Party Hours/Miles section. All forms are available on this CBC website: bird count forms .

Species List

Please use the revised form on our website. This will make life much easier for your compiler, and be less confusing to you at the dinner. If you cannot turn in your species list/s at the dinner, please have someone do this for you. We will be collecting all species lists at the dinner if possible. We can’t compile the Count until all of the forms are in, so please follow through with this!

Rare Birds                                                                                                          

Sightings of birds marked with an asterisk in the Species List require documentation, as do any other birds reported in the Additional Species section of that list, if they are not usually found here in winter. See the Rare Bird Documentation Form (a National Audubon publication) on our website. A photo is always helpful, and may reduce the need for extensive description of the bird. Other media (sound recording, video) are also helpful. Without sufficient notes on your observation, we end up having to track you down for further details—be as specific as you can. We know it takes time to gather and write up rare-bird data, so you don’t have to present it with your other forms at the dinner.

Electronic Reporting                                                                                            

For sending your Species Lists and/or Participant Lists to the CBC compilers, you have some electronic options, including eBird (see below). You can also do a paperless report directly (without eBird): download these forms in their word-processor (.docx) versions. They use Tables for speedy data entry. Fill in the forms and save them, attach them to an email, and send these to the CBC (address given near the bottom of this page). Don’t forget to write up any rare bird sightings as noted above. If you have to miss the Dinner and don’t have someone to deliver your forms there, an e-report is a good option.

Hints for filling out e-report forms:

  • In word-processor’s View menu, select draft/continuous/web view (names differ by product), which shows no gaps at page-end and scrolls smoothly.
  • Save your work frequently (you already know that!), and give your file a new name that tells us who or what site it came from.
  • Filling a table: type a number (or text); don’t use Enter; arrow keys move to next box.
  • Remember to type in your name and birding site in the spaces provided.
  • To help us check data entry, please count how many numeric entries you made in the Species List (including listed subspecies and ‘sp’ entries). Enter that count on the Grand Total line at the bottom of the form.
  • A warning regarding printing: Tables spread out the text a lot, and printing a Species List will eat up about 8 pages. Best to convert tables to text before printing, and arrange in multi-column pages (like the paper Species list :-)

eBirding your Santa Barbara CBC      [revised Dec 2017]

We welcome eBird species list in place of the old paper lists.  But “Sharing” or emailing an eBird file doesn’t do it.  Here’s how to send jus your list in a format that our computers can read: a CSV file.

First, download your eBird checklist to yourself.

  • From your account page (My eBird), in panel on right, click ‘Manage My Checklist’. This shows all your lists. Find your CBC list; click on ‘View Or Edit’to show it.
  • Click ‘Download’(at top right of panel).
  • A pop-up window appears; select Save File then OK. The list is sent to your computer (can take several seconds), and you’ll find it in your Downloads folder with a filename like [serial number]_observations.csv. This file is readable by spreadsheets and databases.
  • If you have more CBC lists to send, click ‘All Checklists’ and select and download each list. (button at top right). Select and download each list.

Send the file(s):

  • Write us an email at the address below.
  • Attach your csv files to the email.
  • Attach Participant Data:
    • This is critical, since eBird and Audubon ask for different effort data. By participating in this CBC you agree to give us the data we need to give Audubon! You can go paperless: see our CBC website, on the Forms tab.
    • Download a Participant form as a .doc file. Fill it in, save, and send it to us, as described in the Info for Leaders tab on the website. Or you can skip the form and just list all the required items in the text of your email.
  • Attach or detail Rare Bird Documentation if needed. Forms and reporting requirements are on this CBC website.

For all leaders and individual birders using eBird:                                  

As a courtesy to your compilers, we ask that you complete and submit all eBird data no later than noon the following day, including your effort and rarity data. Email your eBird checklists and accompanying data to Rebecca Coulter: Rfcphoebe (at) gmail (dot) com

Before Count day, you can help up by scouting your neighborhood or anywhere else within the Count Circle for the following birds:

  • Blue-winged Teal
  • Greater Scaup
  • Mountain Quail
  • Cattle Egret
  • Virginia Rail
  • Lesser Yellowlegs
  • Wilson’s Snipe
  • Iceland (Thayer’s) Gull
  • Greater Roadrunner
  • Any owls (other than Great Horned or Barn)
  • White-throated Swift
  • Hummingbirds (except Anna’s & Allen’s)
  • Sapsuckers (except Red-breasted)
  • Horned Lark
  • Any swallows
  • Brown Creeper
  • Rock or Pacific wrens
  • Common Raven
  • Phainopepla
  • Nashville Warbler
  • Black-throated Gray Warbler
  • Black-and-White Warbler
  • Yellow Warbler
  • Hermit Warbler
  • Wilson’s Warbler
  • Any tanagers
  • Any grosbeaks
  • Lark Sparrow
  • White-throated Sparrow
  • Tricolored Blackbird
  • Any orioles
  • Lawrence’s Goldfinch

If you see any of the above, please contact Libby Patten: