Umpqua Valley Audubon Society

Roseburg-Sutherlin Christmas Bird Count–Dec 16, 2017

Thirty-five eager participants counted birds for this year’s Roseburg-Sutherlin CBC! It was exciting and fun to have some new faces join us this year! Thank-you Kelly B, Ken/Linda/Melissa B, Eric C, Lori D, Bill and Nancy F, Shawn H, Kevin K, Sidney P, and Greg Z for your efforts!!! Also new this year: Mark Hamm and his helper Kelby Fujii organizing the count for the first time, as well as the countdown meeting location “The Roost,” a room owned by Mark. And it just gets better: in addition to Serge Queant’s fabulous seafood chowder, several others brought chili, fresh veggies, bread/rolls, wine, and desserts. All told it was a fabulous count and countdown gathering!

We were fortunate to not have rain on count day, but the fog was thick in most places until a short break in the afternoon before it again returned for the evening. Temperatures were in the 40s.

During the countdown event we tallied 110 species, but additional tally sheets came in and we ended up with 116 species for this year’s count, one of the highest ever (maximum 120, average 110). Birders counted and/or tallied 39,149 birds for this year’s Roseburg-Sutherlin CBC, almost half of which were AMERICAN ROBINS (17,985).

One new species was detected for the count, a BARRED OWL along Oakhill Road, by Keith Phifer. Before sunrise, Keith had been calling for a variety of owls and, hearing nothing, got in his car and began turning around. In his headlights he noticed an owl perched on a nearby wooden fence post. Keith saw it was a Barred Owl and was able to get a photo to verify the first record for the Roseburg-Sutherlin CBC. There are undoubtedly a dozen or perhaps several dozen of this species within the count circle, but they are not as vocal or responsive as some owls to recorded calls. Even though the owl did not make a sound, Keith’s efforts, diligence, and awareness paid off.

Barred Owl photo by Keith Phifer

Species detected that have been recorded 10 or fewer times over the 44 years of the count, include AMERICAN BITTERN (4th time), AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN (4th), THAYER’S GULL (7th), SORA (10th). Other unusual species observed this year (occurring on fewer than 1/3 of counts) include CHIPPING SPARROW, BARROW’S GOLDENEYE, SAY’S PHOEBE, and ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER.

Record high counts tallied this year include PEREGRINE FALCON (6), SPOTTED TOWHEE (354), YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER (423), WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH (39), and AMERICAN ROBIN (17,985).

Record (or tied) low counts this year include LESSER SCAUP (2), WESTERN SCREECH-OWL (1), and WHITE-THROATED SPARROW (1).

Species missed that have been recorded on more than two-thirds of previous counts include (and number of counts in which recorded): PILEATED WOODPECKER (36), AMERICAN PIPIT (32), and GREEN HERON (31).

For a more detailed look at the numbers this year, check out these summary tables (also available at
**Numbers of birds recorded by team area–sorted by taxonomy
**Numbers of birds recorded by team area–sorted by total number of each species
**Numbers of birds recorded by team area–sorted by number of team areas recording each species

With new faces participating in organizing the CBC, counting birds, and bringing food to the count, and a new location, I think this CBC is going in a good direction. Thank-you to everyone who participated this year and/or contributed in some way. Building bird data and building friendships is a good way to spend a winter day!!!

Thank-you again to Jeannie Pollock for entering everyone’s tally sheet data into her spreadsheet and eventually to the national CBC database! The variability in people’s writing is tremendous and Jeannie conquers this challenge and gets it all entered!!!

For more information in Christmas Bird Counts in Douglas County, see

American White Pelican, photo by Matt Hunter
American White Pelican, photo by Matt Hunter
Canvasback, photo by Matt Hunter
Northern Pygmy-Owl, photo by Matt Hunter
Iceland (Thayer’s type) Gull, photo by Matt Hunter
Eurasian Wigeon (upper right) with American Wigeon, photo by Matt Hunter
Say’s Phoebe, photo by Keith Phifer
American Bittern, photo by Dale and Elva Paulson.
American Bittern digging/foraging in bank of ditch, photo by Dale and Elva Paulson.