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Christmas Bird Count:

Every year MDAS participates in the National Audubon Christmas Bird Count. Chapter involvement in this popular citizen science project is one of our most significant contributions to promote conservation. The data is used in many important ways to determine the long-term health and status of bird populations across the continent.

Occurring annually for well over one hundred years, it is the longest running citizen science project. Now, with the addition of data from eBird, scientists can get a much broader picture of what is happening to species across our continent. Both individual species and numbers of actual birds are tallied. Effort and weather conditions become part of the data set that gets reported following the count. A count must occur between December 14th and January 5th. We have historically held our counts before the holiday season begins.

Our chapter "circles" extend into two distinct geographic areas. MDAS covers unique and varied habitats ranging from the Oak woodlands of Central County to montane on Mt. Diablo and a riparian piece of the Delta. Each habitat hosts its own species and, accordingly, over the years wintering songbirds as well as migratory waterfowl and shorebirds have appeared on our lists. We used to complete only a Central County count and then, about fifteen years ago, the East County count was added to reflect our diversity. We have the good fortune of being able to access some private, privately-managed, and off-limits public lands in our counts. Such access is due to the goodwill that our chapter leaders have established over the years. We can be proud of that!

To participate in either count please send an email to

Our circles: Central County - East County

To find your location in a circle precisely, use the National Audubon 116th Christmas Bird Count map, enter your address, and zoom out. See the Dec/Jan 2016/17 Quail Newsletter for an explanation of how you may be able to use your backyard for the CBC.

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