Catalina Island News

Audubon Christmas Bird Count Returns to Catalina Island

Catalina Island Conservancy

Birders, ahoy! As the magic time of the Christmas bird count rolls around, the Catalina Island Conservancy is looking for volunteer bird watchers to spend some binocular time on Sunday, December 18 walking, boating and driving through the wilds of Catalina.

On that day, some 35 or more bird watchers will fan out in several key birding areas around the island. There will be nine teams in all on the land and in the water.

"Catalina is a particularly interesting place for birding," said Aaron Morehouse, Educational Outreach Coordinator, who organizes Catalina Island count. "This event is the perfect volunteer opportunity for both the experienced and novice birder."

"The protected lands of the island provide for a diversity of habitat," Morehouse said. "We have the Pacific Ocean, critical riparian or streamside areas, and the unique island ecology that all lend to a wonderful place for our winged friends and a great day for volunteers.

This will be the 106th year the Audubon Society has sponsored bird counts every Christmas that host over 50,000 participants around the western hemisphere, and more than 60 million bird sightings.

Apart from its attraction as a social and competitive event, CBC reveals valuable scientific data. Each year the expanding its geographical range and accumulating information about the winter distributions of various birds, and it is vital in monitoring the status of resident and migratory birds across the Western Hemisphere. The data, 100 percent volunteer generated, have become a crucial part of the U. S. Government's natural history monitoring database. Count results from 1900 to the present are available through Audubon's website:

"Not only is this a fun event but it gets people involved with actual on the ground conservation work," continued Morehouse.

Anyone interested in joining a team may call Linda Altherr at 310-510-2595 x110. For more information on the count, check or