Christmas Bird Counts (CBC)

Christmas Counts!
Originally started in 1900 by Frank Chapman, this will be the 117th Christmas Bird Count—the oldest continuous wildlife survey in North America! Originally only 25 counts, including Pacific Grove in California, there are now over 1,700 counts worldwide—mostly in the US and Canada—with over 45,000 participants. This huge database of information is frequently used to assess the health of bird populations, to help guide conservation efforts, and to better understand issues of habitat and our environment in general. All counts occur between December 14 and January 5 on any given year. CBC’s were standardized in the late 1950’s, and now typically have a 15-mile diameter. It’s hard to find an activity that combines conservation and the fun of birdwatching quite as seamlessly. Some do 2, 3, even 4 counts!

The Los Angeles Christmas Bird Count is one of the oldest CBC’s in the U.S., having been run nearly continuously since the 1930s. Its boundaries extend from Playa del Rey on the coast east to Griffith Park, and takes in large areas of the eastern Santa Monica Mountains, including the Ballona Wetlands and Franklin Canyon Park.

Sunday, January 3, 2016
Los Angeles Christmas Bird Count

To participate, please arrive promptly at one of two count locations at 8:00 AM:

This JPG image shows the 15-mile diameter circle that encompasses the Los Angeles Christmas Bird Count area.  The circle’s center is located at the intersection of Airdrome St and S Holt Ave. (2015/2016)

CBC Center Coordinates

Lat = 34° 02' 51.70" N, Lon = -118° 22' 45.66" W  (deg min sec)
Lat = 34.047694 N, Lon = -118.379350W  (decimal degrees)

CBC Los Angeles Boundaries Map, Courtesy of Walter Lamb

Interactive Map
Select the JPG map with your mouse to create an interactive Google map that you can examine in detail to determine which parks, home addresses, etc. fall within the count circle. Zoom in and out by using the + and - buttons in the bottom-right corner of the map.  You can also double click to zoom in, or use your mouse scroll or trackpad to zoom in and out.   Move the map (pan) by clicking and holding down your mouse button while moving the mouse to drag the map. You can also use the arrow keys on your keyboard to move the map north, south, east, and west. 

Satellite vs. Map views
At the bottom of the box in the upper-left corner, select the small arrow to the left of Base map to reveal several choices for the map's background.  The first choice, Map, is the default and lets you view street names, parks, etc. on a plain, uncluttered background. The second choice, Satellite, gives you a photographic background that shows (if you zoom in far enough) individual buildings, large trees, etc. that can help you find "off the beaten track" locations that lack street addresses. 

Feeder Watchers
If you live near the count boundary and want to verify that your feeder is inside the count circle, here is an easy way to check: (1) Enter your home address in the top "Search" field.
(2) You may (or may not) need to then select the Search icon (magnifying lens) to show a colored marker at your address (the map zooms in automatically).  If needed, zoom out until you can see the CBC boundary, or zoom in on the marker for a more detailed view.

Saturday, December 19, 2015
Lancaster Christmas Bird Count
Contact compilers Nick and Mary Freeman: (818) 636-4361 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to be placed on a team or be given an area.

See Also: Los Angeles CBC, Jan. 3, 2016 | Malibu Christmas Bird Count, Dec. 20, 2015

More California CBC's

Sunday, December 20, 2015
Malibu Christmas Bird Count
Contact compiler Dick Norton at: (310) 455-1138 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to be matched up with a team or a survey area. Historically, our best-attended count!

See Also: Lancaster CBC Dec. 19 | Los Angeles CBC Jan. 3, 2016

More California CBC's

Common-Poorwill-Los-Angeles-Natural-History-Museum-by-Mary-Freeman for-BOTS Feb-2014 IMG 2134 webCommon Poorwill, LA County Natural History Museum 2014, Photo by Mary Freeman

115th Annual Christmas Bird Count @NHMLA!

Written by Miguel Ordeñana