Umpqua Valley Audubon Society

This year we continued with a trend of new people joining the CBC: Thank-you Carol C, Cindy B, Marnie K,Angie W, Eric S, Maris W, Christine S, Jim H, Donna P, and John R. It’s also great to see relatively new folks returning and strengthening the count coverage: Kelly B, Ken C, Sidney P, Greg Z, Bill & Nancy F, and Stacy B.And thanks to all the long-timers that give us shoulders to stand on!

We again met afterward at The Roost, and were well-fed by Serge Queant’s famous seafood chowder, as well as Lisa Hunter’s meat and veggie chilis, and a variety of other breads and desserts brought by Debbie Hamm and others. Thank-you to all who helped feed these hungry birders!

Weather was cold in the morning, but quite tolerable in the afternoon. Most birders commented on the low number of birds and the difficulty of finding birds. Their sentiments are reflected in the numbers. Total number of birds was 17,954, down from a high count of 39,149 last year, and lower than at least the previous five years. Last year we recorded an amazing 17,985 American Robins,more than all species combined this year!

Despite the low counts of birds, a very respectable total of 114 species was recorded this year, about halfway between the average of 110 and the all-time high of 120 species.

The top ten most numerous birds observed this year were American Robin(2625), European Starling (2526), Canada Goose (1190), American Coot (819), American Wigeon (804), Dark-eyed Junco (778), Mallard (732), Brewer’s Blackbird (562),American Crow (535), and Red-winged Blackbird (498). However, the most widespread birds, found by all 14 teams (with numbers), were Mallard (732), Red-tailed Hawk (73), California Scrub-Jay (188), Black-capped Chickadee (343), American Robin (2625), European Starling (2526), Dark-eyed Junco (778), Golden-crowned Sparrow (276), and Spotted Towhee (140). In contrast, 21 species were found in only one team area; not found by any other team (see links to summary tables below for more detail).
One new species was recorded for the count: YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT!This bird had been at Jim Houseman’s backyard at Chevy’s Pond (across Church Rd. from Ford’s Pond), since December 9, and was seen and photographed on count day! There are only about a dozen winter records of this species in Oregon.

Two BARRED OWLS were heard at a single stop along Cole Road by Matt Hunter and crew, for only the 2nd count record. There are probably dozens in the count circle, but with only a small amount of owling effort they are unlikely to be detected. A BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER was found by Keith and Ken Phifer at the River Forks RV Park for the 3rd count record. Other species recorded 10 or fewer times in the count’s history include: 4 TURKEY VULTURES (in two areas in west Roseburg, 5th count record); 1 male CINNAMON TEAL, Chevy’s Pond (6th), 2 AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN, Ford’s Pond (6th), 2 SNOW GOOSE in two different areas(9th).

New record highs include: BUFFLEHEAD (373), COMMON GOLDENEYE (27), GREAT BLUE HERON (81), GREAT EGRET (56), AMERICAN PIPIT (270), and LESSER GOLDFINCH(305).

Record lows include: ROCK PIGEON (143),  TOWNSEND’S WARBLER (1),and PINE SISKIN (1).

Species missed that have been recorded on 30 or more of 44 historical counts include (and number of counts in which previously recorded): RING-NECKED PHEASANT (40), MERLIN (36), WESTERN GREBE (36), and BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-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

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 on Christmas Bird Counts in Douglas County, see Hope to see y’all and your friends next year!!!  🙂