Birding Festivals and Christmas Bird Counts

Christmas Bird Count Dinner feeding the volunteers

Christmas Bird Count Dinner feeding the volunteers

Red-breasted Sapsucker is a reoccurring species during the EAC-CBC  count.

Red-breasted Sapsucker is a reoccurring species during the EAC-CBC count.

Opportunities to learn more about birding, meet other enthusiasts, and expand your horizons.

Join us for the December 19th Eastern Alameda County Christmas Bird Count. Read about the 2014       Christmas Bird Count by opening the link below, includes photos of the count day.2012 CBC Team photo

The annual bird count in the Amador Valley yielded an increase in raptor sightings. However, the total bird count was down, probably because of the weather.

Rich Cimino, Ohlone Audubon conservation chair who organized the count on Dec. 11, said that he had not tallied the total count yet. However, from his own personal observation, it looked like birds wanted to stay put, because of the overcast sky. “When there is a low ceiling like that, birds tend to stay down. They don’t want to expend energy. Less activity lowers their body temperature, so they don’t burn off calories.”

“I do believe we had very good numbers for birds because of the overall health of the open spaces we have. The open spaces are managed properly by agencies and city governments,” said Cimino.

The preliminary numbers showed an increase in raptor population above last year. However, golden eagles were down from 49 last year to 24 this year. The 49 last year was a spike up from 21 golden eagles in 2010, said Cimino.

Peregrine falcons dropped slightly from six last year to five this year.

Other raptor sightings showed 174 red-tailed hawks last year and 210 this year, and prairie falcons were up from one last year to seven this year.

An Alameda County task force has studied how to lower raptor deaths from wind power turbines in the Altamont. Asked whether the raptor count reflects anything about the health of raptor populations in the Altamont, Cimino said that the data for the Altamont studies are separate from the annual bird count.

“One interesting number was for a non-raptor, the lesser scaup, a duck species. Last year there were 254, and this year 1100,” said Cimino.

Birds that eat berries and seeds, such as robins and pine siskins, showed bigger populations this year. Cimino attributed the influx to less availability of food in the North. “They feed well here with the ornamental trees that people have in their yards,” he said.

Some 90 people turned out as volunteers for the count, the same number as last year. Cimino said that the count itself, and the many good open space environments for birds in the Valley are an indication that citizen science is prospering in the Valley.

The count this year was named in honor of the late Bob Several, who was an editor of The Independent. Cimino named it in his honor for Several’s deep concern for environmental preservation in the Valley.

There was no formal program to start the count, but Cimino passed out a paragraph that he wrote about Several. “When I announced it, they all knew who he was,” he said.

Beginning Birding Class’s in with field class’s in Marin, Solono and Sonoma Counties

  Birding Classes Information and registration contact: February 7th, 2015  – Saturday February 7, 2015 9:00 AM – Raptors: Eagles, Hawks and Falcons. field class on Saturday February 7th 9AM to 1PM Field trip to Solono County Staggs Island area … Continue reading

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Richardson Bay Audubon Center & Sanctuary Shorebird Festival January 30-31, 2015

1st Richardson Bay Audubon Center & Sanctuary Shorebird Days – Winter Water and Shore Bird Festival held in Tiburon, Ca. 94920.. Yellowbilled Tours will be conducting out door Beginning Birding Class’s, Saturday January 31st 9AM PM. On November 26th, 2014 … Continue reading

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Central Valley Bird Club Birding Festival, Nov. 21 – 24, 2015

Yellowbilled Tours will have a table exhibit at the Central Valley Bird Club Birding Symposium, Nov. 21 – 24, 2015, at the Stockton Hilton Hotel in Stockton, CA. I will also be leading a field trip to Clifton Court Forebay … Continue reading

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Christmas Bird Count, Eastern Alameda County, Friday Dec. 19, 2014

The Eastern Alameda County Christmas Bird Count will be held on Friday, December 13, 2013. This is last year’s data: Eastern Alameda County Christmas Bird Count 2011 species summary     This is the 2012 CBC data  http://www.independentnews.com/community/article_30fec270-4aec-11e2-bcac-001a4bcf887a.html?mode=story#.UOIxip1k5Hg.gmail      

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Points Reyes Bird & Nature Festival , April 24-27, 2015

For the fourth year Yellowbilled Tours will have the responsibility for leading the beginning Birding Class. The class is held in Point Reyes NP in the Woodpecker Trail. It is scheduled for the Saturday April 25th. You must sign up … Continue reading

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