Carpinteria Christmas Bird Count

2020 Carpinteria Christmas Bird Count

Important Update: 

Greetings, Carpinteria birdwatchers. I have unfortunate news. Due to concerns about the pandemic, and in particular the recent stay at home order issued by state authorities, I’ve decided to cancel this year’s Carpinteria Christmas Bird Count (CBC). The count, which had been scheduled to take place on Saturday, December 19, will not be happening this year.

I made the decision after reviewing Audubon Society guidelines and the state’s stay at home order. I also looked at what other CBCs in California are doing, had conversations with compilers of other counts, and gathered opinions from the people who have been helping me organize the count.

It was a tough decision, both because of how much I was looking forward to the count and because there are strong arguments on both sides. I believe we could have had a relatively safe count. Limited outdoor recreation (such as birdwatching) by members of the same household is an activity specifically allowed, even encouraged, by the stay at home order.

At the same time, I was bothered by the symbolism of holding the count under these circumstances. I believe it is important that we look out for each other, that we do what we can to slow the spread of the virus. Others (healthcare workers especially) are making tremendous sacrifices. I didn’t want to undermine those efforts, even symbolically, by going forward with an event that would have put 60+ birdwatchers in the field on count day.

Please let me know if you have concerns or questions. For now I plan to continue birdwatching, and I encourage all of you to continue birdwatching, just on a slightly smaller scale and maybe a little closer to home. I’ve already marked the date of the next Carpinteria CBC in my calendar: Saturday, December 18, 2021. I hope you’ll join me for that count, and that by then we’ll have earned the right to celebrate Carpinteria’s birds properly, together.

John Callender
Carpinteria CBC compiler

Mailing List

If you want to receive regular updates about the count you can subscribe to the count’s Google group (like a mailing list) here: Carpinteria CBC Participants (Google group). In the meantime, you can check this page for updates as we get closer to count day.

Useful links and downloadable forms:

Questions? Contact John Callender,, or call 805-455-0053.

Recap of the 2019 Carpinteria CBC

The 11th Carpinteria Christmas Bird Count took place Saturday, December 14, 2019. Weather was mostly clear, but strong winds made things difficult later in the day. Although gale warnings kept our pelagic crew on shore, Dave Pereksta did a great job of rounding up pelagic species from his three seawatch sites. Roughly 75 observers covered the accessible portions of our count circle, finding a total of 155 species, just 3 species short of our all-time record of 158.
Thank you to everyone who participated.

Count day species spreadsheet