Every ten years, the US Census Bureau conducts a head count of how many people live in each state. The National Audubon Society does the same annually for our bird population. The latest “bird census,” the Christmas Bird Count, was Sunday, December 19, 2021. San Joaquin County had dozens of bird watchers out tabulating numbers and species.
San Joaquin county is divided into fifteen areas. Not all data from Sunday’s count has been submitted (as of 12/22/21) but Jim Rowoth, with the local Audubon Society, says 139 species were counted. Some birds seen in the past, Western Sandpiper, Black-throated Gray Warbler, Cattle Egret, Cinnamon Teal, Tricolored Blackbird, American Avocet, were not spotted. Not because they are no longer there but because they were not seen by birders on that day.
Most years the average species seen have varied from 150 (1990s) to 140s (since 2000). Rowoth says, “There are various factors for the decline in species diversity—habitat loss/degradation due to development and agriculture, chronic drought due to climate change, and West Nile virus.”
Many counties take part in different bird counts throughout the year. Check the resources below to find out when your local bird count is happening.
In the video below, meet passionate birdwatchers, Dave and Pat Croft of Lodi.
If you’d like to participate in a bird count, the Society holds the 25th annual Great Backyard Bird Count on Friday, February 18, through Monday, February 21, 2022. Please visit the official website at birdcount.org for more information and be sure to check out the latest educational and promotional resources.
Cyndy Green has been intrigued by news since she got a toy printing press as a six year old. She switched to visual story telling at the age of 12 with her first still camera and moved to broadcasting after an internship in 1974. After 28 years in broadcast news and another 8 teaching broadcasting, she still can’t live without a camera in hand and an editing computer nearby, so in retirement she continues creating visual stories.