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Photo by Tom Grey

Bird Counts - Summer and Winter

For more than 100 years, birders of all levels joined together to count bird species all over the United States and abroad. Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society sponsors several of these counts each year, both at Christmas and in early summer. We need help from birders of all abilities so we can continue collecting this important data.

Join other counts such as the Great Backyard Bird Count in February and Project FeederWatch from November through early April.

Count Data Results

Summer and winter Santa Clara County count data compilations for 2015.

Winter Christmas Bird Count count circle summaries for 2015.

Summer Bird Count (SBC)

SCVAS sponsors a bird count each year near the beginning of June, which covers a portion of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties (same area as the Palo Alto Christmas Bird Count). As well as counting birds, groups of observers also record any signs of breeding, such as mating, nest building, or feeding of fledged young. These counts are important in documenting trends of breeding activity. Birders of all levels are encouraged to participate, and a "countdown" dinner is held the same evening.

Palo Alto - Saturday, June 4, 2016
Count birds in areas from from Skyline Drive to the bay in a circle that is centered near Stanford University. In addition to the popular birding locales in the circle, it also covers many urban areas of Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. Scheduled on the first Saturday in June. Please contact our Education and Outreach Director at (408) 252-3740 or by email.

Palo Alto SBC count forms to complete, clip together (don't staple packet), and submit:
Leader Responsibilities and directions to the count-down dinner.
Participant List
Party Count Statistics
Census Checklist - please print single-sided and staple this checklist only.

Winter Christmas Bird Counts (CBC)

Each December we participate in several Christmas Bird Counts (CBC) sponsored by the National Audubon Society. Organizations use data collected in this long-running wildlife census to assess the health of bird populations and to help guide conservation action. Read about how the data are used and about the histories of our counts.

Yellow-rumped Warbler by Tom Grey
Yellow-rumped Warbler © Tom Grey

Each of our four predefined count circles are divided into sectors by the count leader and teams are assigned to count birds in each sector. Counters with less experience are teamed with those with more experienced. Even if beginning birders can't identify every bird, they provide important "extra eyes" in finding birds. A "countdown" dinner (donations to cover the food are gladly accepted!) is held on the evening of the count, where groups share their results and tell tales of the day.

Find more information on sectors and how to participate here.