Friday, December 1, 2023
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HomeNewsEventsPlumas Audubon announces Christmas Bird Counts

Plumas Audubon announces Christmas Bird Counts

The Plumas Audubon Society invites everyone to join the annual Christmas Bird Counts in Plumas County. All are welcome at these free, in-person, all-ages events, in which volunteers collect data on local bird populations.

Three Christmas Bird Counts are set for Plumas County, as follows:

  • Lake Almanor: Thursday, Dec. 14 
  • Sierra Valley: Saturday, Dec. 16
  • American Valley: Sunday, Dec. 17 

For information on the Lake Almanor and Sierra Valley counts, and to RSVP, contact Colin Dillingham, Plumas Audubon Society member and U.S. Forest Service wildlife biologist, at or (530) 394-8129.

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For information on the American Valley count, and to RSVP, contact Darrel Jury, Plumas Audubon Society member and retired Feather River College professor, at or (530) 616-1461.

About Christmas Bird Counts

Plumas Audubon reports that the Christmas Bird Count was started in an effort to change another tradition, the Christmas Side Hunt. The Side Hunt was an event in which local outdoorsmen would choose sides and hunt all the animals and birds they could in one day. The team with the most kills was declared the winner.

On Christmas Day in 1900, ornithologist Frank Chapman began a new tradition, a Christmas Bird Census. His census aimed to count and observe the birds of North America rather than hunt them. Since that time, the census, now called the Christmas Bird Count, has grown to include thousands of locations in North America.

Now organized by the National Audubon Society, each local Bird Count is set up the same way: within a 15-mile diameter zone called a circle. Each circle is organized by a compiler, an expert bird watcher, who reports all the data (and knows all the rules). This data is collected by volunteers who explore the circle with a group of other bird lovers. The group reports on all the birds and species they see. 

This data is then collected and organized by the National Audubon Society to give a continentwide snapshot of how bird populations are faring and where species are living. This data is particularly helpful for bird scientists who use it to monitor population changes by revealing the impact of diseases, climate, environment and land development.

Information submitted by Plumas Audubon Society

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