The South Lake Tahoe Christmas Bird Count is your chance to do some birding in the winter, and contribute to the largest, longest running citizen science program in the world. Novices to experts are all welcome for this fun winter event that focuses the 7.5 mile radius count circle on the Upper Truckee River mouth at Cove East.
Due to Covid-19 and to ensure our participants’ safety, we have changed the structure of the count. Similar to last year, we are prioritizing data and safety and thus will not host a social count. However, there are still two alternative options to get involved, add to the data collection, and enjoy the day:
Option One: Dedication to the Chase. If you want to chase birds on foot, skis, or even in a boat, we are looking for experienced avian enthusiasts to find birds in assigned areas. We will appoint individuals or small groups (e.g. families, couples, or other self-selected “pods” that have consistently been in close contact during COVID) to specific locations throughout the count circle. Please let us know if you would like to be assigned to a specific area, and we will do our best to make it work on a first come, first serve basis.
Option Two: The Backyard CBC. For people that live within the count circle, we encourage folks to participate by counting the birds at your feeder or in your yards or immediate neighborhoods. This way, you can kick back, relax, and learn about the birds that inhabit your yard, all while practicing social distancing. Be sure to hang up your feeder a few weeks leading up to the count, so the birds get used to the location of your seeds.
With both options the data will need to be submitted to TINS via email or regular mail. We will also be hosting a virtual after party. More details coming soon.
We will miss birding with you, but we are looking forward to the count and how many species we can find!
The Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is widely regarded as the largest and oldest citizen science project in the world. Each year, from 14 December through 5 January, tens of thousands of volunteers head out into the winter to count birds for a day. This tradition goes back to 1900, and in the intervening years, these birders have built a database on bird populations that is unmatched by any other wildlife census.
Tahoe Institute of Natural Science (TINS) Co-founder Will Richardson has coordinated the South Lake Tahoe CBC since 2004.