Christmas Bird Count Guidelines
LAFAYETTE and WILLOW SLOUGH-IROQUOIS PRESERVES
CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT GUIDELINES
1. If the weather appears to be bad enough to stop the Count, wait until 9 AM and call the compiler, Ed Hopkins, at 1.765.714.9913 for confirmation.
2. The compiler will make final area assignments at the beginning of the regular December meeting.
3. Participants no longer have to pay a $5.00 fee to validate each Natioanal Audubon Society CBC in which they participate. However, the Natioanal Audubon Society would appreciate any donation that you would give.
4. Look at the FINAL REPORT FORM before the Count to make sure you tally all necessary species, time and distance data on Count calendar day. Bring the FORM to the compilation party or make prior arrangements with the compiler.
5. An UNLISTED SPECIES seen during the Count day may be listed on one of the blank lines on the FINAL REPORT FORM and must be accompanied by a completed DOCUMENTATION FORM.
6. UNLISTED SPECIES must be documented in the field, including comments on outstanding field marks, optics used, distance, lighting, etc. When the description that does not prove the identity of a species, the bird may be relegated to general species (sp.) status.
7. A species "Seen During the Period", within the Count area three days before or after but not on Count day, should be reported to the compiler for inclusion in the results.
8. If there is a question of identity between similar birds, treat as follows: example, if you cannot decide between a Cooper's or Sharp-shinned Hawk then submit as "accipiter, sp., 1."
9. Yes, Virginia! European Starlings, House Sparrows and Rock Pigeons are part of the avifauna. Please count them.
10. Scout your assigned area before Count day. On Count day, cover as many different habitat types as possible as early in the day as possible.
11. RESPECT private property, but do not be shy in asking permission in crossing it.
12. FEEDER WATCHERS should record the time spent, and the maximum number of individuals of each species seen at any one time unless they can differentiate individual birds. As an example, seeing four female Cardinals followed later by four males would count as eight total Cardinals. Do not try to estimate the maximum possible numbers of birds utilizing the area without being able to prove the number. This category is ONLY for stationary, home watchers and NOT for field parties. Field parties would include their time viewing a feeder with the rest of the field party time.
13. OWL COUNTERS should not stop more often than about every 0.3 mile between calls to prevent owls from following them. DO keep the time spent and the miles driven, but separately from the daytime totals.
14. Do NOT include mileage and time getting back and forth from your home to your assigned area, or to and from lunch, or when backtracking or detouring from one assigned area to another. Please subtract out the non-counting mileage and time.