Carrizo Plain CBC

Photo of Carrizo Plain by Roger Zachary

Bell's Sparrow
Friday, January 5, 2024 will be the 53rd Carrizo Plain Christmas Bird Count (CBC). 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. Bring your own food and water, and arrive with a full tank of gas in your vehicle. There are no services near the CBC area. Expect to bird from cars and on short walks from 8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Ask Russ if you prefer a particular survey area or field partners, and if you want to be in the field for a longer time. Participants new to this survey will be paired with birders who have prior experience on this CBC.

Contact CP CBC Compiler, Russ Namitz, at for additional information. Participants will receive maps of their survey area and birding survey checklists by email from Russ prior to the CBC. Checklists are returned to Russ. 

To whet your appetite for the Carrizo Plain CBC, know that 30 participants on our 2020 Carrizo Plain CBC found 62 bird species from 9,361 individuals. Highlights were a Golden Eagle pair bringing sticks to a nest, 11 Northern Harriers, 1 Rough-legged Hawk, 8 Ferruginous Hawks, 694 Long-billed Curlews, 4 Greater Roadrunners, a few owls (Great Horned, Long-eared, Short-eared), 6 Merlins, 6 Prairie Falcons, 56 Loggerhead Shrikes, 252 Common Ravens, 2381 Horned Larks, 65 Mountain Bluebirds, 45 American Pipits, 8 Phainopeplas and 28 Golden-crowned Sparrows (higher elevation), 97 Bell's Sparrows, 20 Vesper Sparrows, 771 Savannah Sparrows, and 1081 Western Meadowlarks.

Thanks, Russ