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Photo by Tom Grey

Christmas Bird Count

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.


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 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.


If you would like to help, please contact the count leader listed below at least two weeks before the count day or contact us.


Publication of Results

Since 2012, National Audubon Society does not charge the small participant fee to publish CBC results. Instead they now publish all CBC results online.


Count Regions

San Jose - Sunday, December 18, 2016
This is our longest running count. It offers many different habitats to count: shoreline, woodlands, lake-side, riparian, and urban parks in areas of San Jose, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, and Alviso. Birders of all experience levels are welcome and needed. Please contact Mike Azevedo at or Kelly Alfrey at by December 11th if you wish to participate. 


Palo Alto - Monday, December 19, 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. Many habitats are covered. Please contact your region coordinator or Al Eisner at least two weeks before the count at


NOTE TO PARTY LEADERS: Download all the Palo Alto CBC forms and print with a good-quality printer or, if you can't print, contact Kelly, SCVAS Outreach Coordinator, at to have the forms mailed to you. The Census Checklist should be printed single-sided and stapled; please clip (rather than staple) together the full set of forms. Begin by carefully reading Instructions to Party Leaders; contact Al Eisner at if you have questions.

Palo Alto CBC forms:

Instructions to Party Leaders and directions to the count-down dinner. 
Participant List
Party Count Statistics
Census Checklist - please print single-sided and staple this checklist only. 
Rare bird documentation form


Calero-Morgan Hill - Tuesday, December 27, 2016
This is the only count covering southern Santa Clara County. The circle includes the Diablo Range foothills to portions of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Some specific areas of interest include Coyote Creek (including Ogier Ponds), Almaden Lake Park, Quicksilver County Park, Guadalupe Oak Grove Park, Coyote Valley, and many reservoirs. Please contact Beth Hamel by email at


Mount Hamilton - Monday, January 2, 2017

This scenic count circle includes Mount Hamilton and the San Antonio Valley. Interested counters should contact Bob Hirt at (408) 821-2732.