Carrizo Plain CBC

Photo of Carrizo Plain by Roger Zachary

Sunday, January 2, 2021 will be the 47th Carrizo Plain Christmas Bird Count. Morro Coast Audubon Society sponsors two CBCs, and this one is located 42 miles east of Santa Margarita on CA-58 near Soda Lake Road. We will have 8-10 field parties following National Audubon COVID restrictions*. Bring your own food and water, and arrive with a full tank of gas in your vehicle. There are no services within one hour’s drive of the CBC area.
Bell's Sparrow

Contact CBC Compiler, Kathanne Lynch, at or 303-968-4750 and indicate in which habitat area you wish to identify birds. Participants will receive maps of their survey area and birding checklists prior to the CBC Count day.  We will have a ZOOM meeting mid-week before January 2.

* COVID-19 guidelines specified by National Audubon, MCAS, and local agencies in the Carrizo Plain will be followed including:
  • Social distancing and/or masking are required at all times in the field.
  • Carpooling may only occur within existing familiar or social “pod” groups.
  • Activities must comply with all current state and municipal COVID-19 guidelines.
  • Activities must comply with all Bureau of Land Management guidelines on the Carrizo Plain.
As a point of reference, our 2019 Carrizo Plain CBC had 33 survey participants who identified 60 species from 10,898 individual birds. Highlights were 1200 Long-billed Curlews that streamed into the plain over the Temblor Range at sunup, and an additional 240 curlews that flew in formations over the Caliente Range at noon. One Rough-legged Hawk, eight American White Pelicans, one Peregrine Falcon, and nine White-throated Swifts added to the excitement in the field on count day. 

Other notable bird species were Bell’s Sparrow (72), Mountain Plover (4 count week), Northern Harrier (12), Ferruginous Hawk (22), Greater Roadrunner (1), Barn Owl (11), Burrowing Owl (1), Long-eared Owl (9), Prairie Falcon (11), Loggerhead Shrike (52), Horned Lark (2,964), Mountain Bluebird (76), LeConte’s Thrasher (1), American Pipit (141), Phainopepla (14), Lark Sparrow (187), and Savannah Sparrow (1,467).