Morro Bay Christmas Bird Count

NOTE: Due to Covid-19 restrictions (Audubon, state & local), there are a few new rules that need to be followed in order comply with those restrictions and to protect our fellow counters and family members:
  • No sharing of vehicles with out-of-family/living groups (everyone in their own vehicle);
  • Counters must maintain 6’ physical distance from anyone not in their family/living group;
  • Everyone should have a mask with them for circumstances where 6’ distance cannot be maintained;
  • The 2020 compilation potluck will be VIRTUAL and use the Zoom app (Zoom info to follow).
Over 2,500 Christmas Bird Counts are held annually across North America, Latin America, the Caribbean, and the Pacific Islands as part of a continent-wide, citizen-science effort to ascertain the winter distribution and fluctuation in numbers of North American birds. A summary of the 121st CBC results will be available on the NATIONAL AUDUBON SOCIETY website, and our local count circle results will be posted on the MCAS website.

The 2020 Morro Coast Audubon Society's 67th Annual Morro Bay Christmas Bird Count will be held on Saturday, December 19th, dawn to dusk, rain or shine! The traditional annual potluck at SLO Botanical Gardens will be replaced by a VIRTUAL potluck due to COVID-19 restrictions and now scheduled for MONDAY, DECEMBER 21st. The count is conducted within a circle, 15 miles in diameter, that is centered at the intersection of Turri Road and Los Osos Valley Road (MORRO BAY CBC SECTOR MAP). The circle is divided into 54 sectors.

Many counters are needed to achieve a good count and maintain MCAS's high and nationally-accredited ranking. Our success in the National Ranking has been the result of having lots of people in the field sighting and counting birds within the circle. Only species and numbers of birds seen within this circle and its sectors may be counted.

There is no fee to participate in the CBC and all skill levels are welcome. Registration is required to participate. You are asked to register by December 5th (see below) so that the 54 sectors can be organized in order to provide thorough coverage of the entire circle. After you register your Area Leader, who coordinates multiple sectors, will contact you in early December.

Audubon members, and friends, everywhere . . . THANK YOU!

Please realize that you will be part of an important team. We seek specific data on the diversity and population of the birds in our Count Circle. Your efforts are being directed by a group that is responsible for the consistency and quality of the data produced. If there is a sector that you would like to explore but you were not assigned to it for this year's CBC, please plan on birding there after the CBC is completed. We rely on your utmost attention to all you hear and see during the survey in the sector to which you have been assigned.

NOTE: The Morro Coast Audubon Society's 46th Carrizo Plain CBC is a separate event that is coordinated independently. It will be held on Saturday, January 2, 2021 from morning until mid-afternoon. Go to Carrizo Plain CBC for more information.


Step 1.   SELECT SECTOR(s)

First, open the MORRO BAY CBC SECTOR MAP. You can click on any sector in the count circle to view a description and a detailed map of that sector. If you prefer, you may download a document that contains a reference map and a description of each sector by clicking on one of the following formats: PDF, DOCX. When you register you will be asked to enter up to three sectors in which you would like to count birds. We will do our best to assign you to one of your choices.


NOTE: The Email address you enter when you Register Online will be used to send you a confirmation email so that you know your registration was completed successfully. Please enter email address carefully.

Register Online (Registration opens on November 1st and closes on December 4th)


GO HERE TO DOWNLOAD checklists, maps, GPS info, and other files that you may need on count day.

Again, thank you and... Good Luck!

2021 Morro Bay Count Compiler:
Jay Carroll
(805) 235-4573

2021 Morro Bay Count Registrar:
Joanne Aasen

2022 Carrizo Plain Count Compiler and Registrar:
Kathanne Lynch
(303) 968-4750

Morro Bay CBC Results (PDF):
2010 2011 2012
2013 2014 2015
2016 2017 2018
2019 2020
Carrizo Plain CBC Results (PDF):
2019 2020
To retrieve detailed results for any year and any count circle:
  1. Go to
  2. Once there, select Historical-->Results by Count from menu at top. 
  3. Select Start Year and End Year as you wish.
  4. Then enter CAMR (for Morro Bay) or CACP (for Carrizo Plain) in Count Code box (or select any other count circle you want).
  5. Wait for a second or two until selected count circle displays below.
  6. Click little circle to the left of your selected count circle.
  7. Then, in the popup window, select the format of file to be downloaded to your computer.
Try it!