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For Immediate Use                                                                                               Contact: Alison Sheehey, (760) 378-2531
May 10, 2010                                                                                                                     

Will this be the seventh year Kern County wins the America's birdiest inland county competition?

(It may take a while to get the answer, since this competition is judged by Mike Wilson, Dauphin Island Bird Sanctuaries and since all of their sanctuaries are being severely affected by the BP Oil Disaster... bear with them as I suspect they are too busy to judge any contest right now)

The weather was amazing during the three days of Kern County's effort in America's Birdiest Inland County (ABIC) competition. A happy experience for people who want to be out in nature, but not so great for finding birds. Migrating birds will fly night and day with little rest on their way to breeding grounds. When the weather is windy or rainy, the birds are forced from their high altitude flight down to ground level. These are days that birders relish. On Saturday, May 8th at one of Kern County's most amazing migratory hotspots, Butterbredt Spring, experienced birders estimated up to 45,000 birds flying up a single canyon within a few hours of dawn. The winds were horrible which pushed our feathered friends down to where they could refuel at this rare desert oasis and where birders could enjoy one of nature's most amazing spectacles! This was not the case during the ABIC but with a yeoman's effort, the 66 participants helped find almost every species expected in the county with a few unexpected bonuses!

Even with beautiful weather, it looks as though this could be the seventh consecutive year, Kern County wins the ABIC competition. With 242 species currently being reported, birders have made the county competitive again. For eight years birders across the country have competed for no prizes other than bragging rights to demonstrate their special places across this beautiful country.

Kern County is one of North America's biological gems a fact that many local citizens seem to be unaware. This competition along with the 10 Christmas Bird Counts, the six NABA Butterfly Counts, the hordes of people that seek to experience wildflowers around the county are proof positive that no matter what your interest in nature is, Kern County can provide a magical experience.

Here are the totals of species found in Kern County during past counts.

2003 - 189, 2004 - , 2005 - 226, 2006 - 247, 2007 - 235, 2008 - 241, 2009 - 246

Thanks to Bob Barnes for continuing to organize and compile Kern County's effort in this fun competition and thanks to Mike Wilson at Dauphin Island for organizing the national competition again this year (who I expect is going to need to have someone else do the compilation this year - the first oil from Deepwater Horizon hit their shores today).


Following is the list of 242 bird species reported by the known 66 participants birding in Kern County, California Friday, April 30 through Sunday, May 2, 2010 time period picked to conduct Kern County's America's Birdiest Inland County effort.

OBSERVERS/REPORTERS: Bob Barnes, Vera Brechbiel (Virginia), Mary Brooks, David Chilton, Dave Clendenon, Sherryl Clendenon, Barbara Coley, Roger Coley, Madi Elsea, Ernie Flores (Los Angeles Co.), Scott Frazer, Mary Freeman (Los Angeles Co.), Nick Freeman (Los Angeles Co.), Wes Fritz (Santa Barbara Co.), Rob Hansen (Tulare Co.), Ron Holland (Riverside Co.), Cher Hollingworth (Santa Barbara Co.), Andrew Howe (Riverside Co.), Vernon Howe (Riverside Co.), Liam Huber (Butte Co.), Scott Huber (Butte Co.), Lois Kaufman, (Maryland), Louise Knecht, Sandy Koonce (San Bernardino Co.), Debby Kroeger, Jeremy Kroege, Brenda Kyle, Ken Kyle, Denise LaBerteaux, John Lampkin (New York), Rod Lee, Kelli Levinson, John Lockhat (Tulare Co.), Jim Lowery, Bill Lydecker, Tom Maloney, Marilyn McCune, Ken McGary (San Francisco Co.), Terri Middlemiss, Thomas Miko (Los Angeles Co.), Bill Moffat, Jean Moore, John Newman, Sean Rowe, Celeste Royer (San Luis Obispo Co.), Jim Royer (San Luis Obispo Co.), Tim Ruckle (Butte Co.), Natalie Schaefer (San Luis Obispo Co.), Ross Schaefer (San Luis Obispo Co.), John Schmitt, Jeff Seay (Fresno Co.), Alison Sheehey, Dale Sickles, Ed Sickles, Brad Singer (San Bernardino Co.), Maggie Smith (San Luis Obispo Co.), Christine Sparks, Richard Sparks, Cindy Stiles (San Luis Obispo Co.), Mike Stiles (San Luis Obispo Co.), Bill Sweetman and his tour group (Michigan), Barb Walls, Justin Ward (Tulare Co.), Pamela Williams, Steve Williams, Marcia Wolfe

1     Snow Goose
2     Ross's Goose
3     Canada Goose
4     Tundra Swan
5     Wood Duck
6     Gadwall
7     American Wigeon
8     Mallard
9     Blue-winged Teal
10   Cinnamon Teal
11   Northern Shoveler
12   Northern Pintail
13   Green-winged Teal
14   Redhead
15   Ring-necked Duck
16   Lesser Scaup
17   Bufflehead
18   Common Merganser
19   Ruddy Duck
20   Chukar
21   Ring-necked Pheasant
22   Wild Turkey
23   Mountain Quail
24   California Quail
25   Common Loon
26   Pied-billed Grebe
27   Eared Grebe
28   Western Grebe
29   Clark's Grebe
30   American White Pelican
31   Double-crested Cormorant
32   American Bittern
33   Great Blue Heron
34   Great Egret
35   Snowy Egret
36   Cattle Egret
37   Green Heron
38   Black-crowned Night-Heron
39   White-faced Ibis
40   Turkey Vulture
41   California Condor
42   Osprey
43   White-tailed Kite
44   Bald Eagle
45   Northern Harrier
46   Cooper's Hawk
47   Northern Goshawk
48   Red-shouldered Hawk
49   Swainson's Hawk
50   Red-tailed Hawk
51   Golden Eagle
52   American Kestrel
53   Peregrine Falcon
54   Prairie Falcon
55   Virginia Rail
56   Sora
57   Common Moorhen
58   American Coot
59   Black-bellied Plover
60   Semipalmated Plover
61   Killdeer
62   Black-necked Stilt
63   American Avocet
64   Greater Yellowlegs
65   Lesser Yellowlegs
66   Solitary Sandpiper
67   Spotted Sandpiper
68   Whimbrel
69   Long-billed Curlew
70   Marbled Godwit
71   Sanderling (unexpected)
72   Western Sandpiper
73   Least Sandpiper
74   Dunlin
75   Long-billed Dowitcher
76   Wilson's Snipe
77   Wilson's Phalarope
78   Red-necked Phalarope
79   Bonaparte's Gull
80   Franklin's Gull
81   Ring-billed Gull
82   California Gull
83   Caspian Tern
84   Black Tern
85   Forster's Tern
86   Rock Pigeon
87   Band-tailed Pigeon
88   Eurasian Collared-Dove
89   Spotted Dove
90   Mourning Dove
91   Common Ground-Dove
92   Greater Roadrunner
93   Barn Owl
94   Western Screech-Owl
95   Great Horned Owl
96   Northern Pygmy-Owl
97   Burrowing Owl
98   Spotted Owl
99   Long-eared Owl
100 Northern Saw-whet Owl
101 Lesser Nighthawk
102 Common Poorwill
103 Vaux's Swift
104 White-throated Swift
105 Black-chinned Hummingbird
106 Anna's Hummingbird
107 Costa's Hummingbird
108 Rufous Hummingbird
109 Belted Kingfisher
110 Lewis's Woodpecker
111 Acorn Woodpecker
112 Red-breasted Sapsucker
113 Ladder-back Woodpecker
114 Nuttall's Woodpecker
115 Downy Woodpecker
116 Hairy Woodpecker
117 White-headed Woodpecker
118 Northern Flicker
119 Pileated Woodpecker
120 Olive-sided Flycatcher
121 Western Wood-Pewee
122 Willow Flycatcher
123 Hammond's Flycatcher
124 Dusky Flycatcher
125 Gray Flycatcher
126 Pacific-slope Flycatcher
127 Black Phoebe
128 Say's Phoebe
129 Vermilion Flycatcher
130 Ash-throated Flycatcher
131 Brown-crested Flycatcher
132 Cassin's Kingbird
133 Western Kingbird
134 Loggerhead Shrike
135 Bell's Vireo
136 Plumbeous Vireo
137 Cassin's Vireo
138 Hutton's Vireo
139 Warbling Vireo
140 Steller's Jay
141 Western Scrub-Jay
142 Pinyon Jay
143 American Crow
144 Common Raven
145 Horned Lark
146 Purple Martin
147 Tree Swallow
148 Violet-green Swallow
149 Northern Rough-winged Swallow
150 Bank Swallow
151 Cliff Swallow
152 Barn Swallow
153 Mountain Chickadee
154 Oak Titmouse
155 Verdin
156 Bushtit
157 Red-breasted Nuthatch
158 White-breasted Nuthatch
159 Pygmy Nuthatch
160 Brown Creeper
161 Cactus Wren
162 Rock Wren
163 Canyon Wren
164 Bewick's Wren
165 House Wren
166 Winter Wren
167 Marsh Wren
168 American Dipper
169 Golden-crowned Kinglet
170 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
171 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
172 Western Bluebird
173 Mountain Bluebird
174 Townsend's Solitaire
175 Swainson's Thrush
176 Hermit Thrush
177 American Robin
178 Wrentit
179 Northern Mockingbird
180 Brown Thrasher
181 California Thrasher
182 Le Conte's Thrasher
183 European Starling
184 American Pipit
185 Cedar Waxwing
186 Phainopepla
187 Orange-crowned Warbler
188 Nashville Warbler
189 Virginia's Warbler (unexpected)
190 Yellow Warbler
191 Magnolia Warbler
192 Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's and Myrtle)
193 Black-throated Gray Warbler
194 Townsend's Warbler
195 Hermit Warbler
196 MacGillivray's Warbler
197 Common Yellowthroat
198 Hooded Warbler
199 Wilson's Warbler
200 Yellow-breasted Chat
201 Summer Tanager
202 Western Tanager
203 Green-tailed Towhee
204 Spotted Towhee
205 California Towhee
206 Rufous-crowned Sparrow
207 Chipping Sparrow
208 Brewer's Sparrow
209 Black-chinned Sparrow
210 Black-throated Sparrow
211 Sage Sparrow
212 Savannah Sparrow
213 Grasshopper Sparrow
214 Fox Sparrow
215 Song Sparrow
216 Lincoln's Sparrow
217 White-crowned Sparrow
218 Golden-crowned Sparrow
219 Dark-eyed Junco
220 Black-headed Grosbeak
221 Blue Grosbeak
222 Lazuli Bunting
223 Red-winged Blackbird
224 Tricolored Blackbird
225 Western Meadowlark
226 Yellow-headed Blackbird
227 Brewer's Blackbird
228 Great-tailed Grackle
229 Brown-headed Cowbird
230 Orchard Oriole (unexpected)
231 Hooded Oriole
232 Bullock's Oriole
233 Scott's Oriole
234 Purple Finch
235 Cassin's Finch
236 House Finch
237 Pine Siskin
238 Lesser Goldfinch
239 Lawrence's Goldfinch
240 American Goldfinch
241 House Sparrow

Abundant thanks to all participants,

Bob Barnes
Ridgecrest, Kern County, California
C: 760-382-1260


The Rules of the Game - 2010 (From
In order to have all teams in the "America's Birdiest City" and "America's Birdiest County" ("ABC/C") competitions operating in the same manner, and to insure a "level playing field" for all participants, the following conventions have been developed to guide "ABC/C" teams in the field.

The "rules of the game" are as follows:

1. All entrants must conduct their "ABC/C" Bird-a-thon between the dates of April 1 and May 31.

2. "ABC/C" competitors must record all bird identifications within the legal boundaries of their selected city or county. For "City" entrants, most automobile club and Thomas Bros. maps show city limits; birding in suburbs and in unincorporated areas is not permitted. For both City and County entrants, be sure that birds aloft and those identified by call are within your city or county's boundaries.

3. For coastal cities, the "birdable area" extends one mile (i.e., as far as you can scope) out into salt water (or Lake water) from the shore, or from offshore islands that are legally a part of the city or county involved. All birds counted must be identified from land (this rule results from a participants' poll taken in 2003, and mainly reflects the fact that the participants were not at all in agreement as to how far out into the ocean should be considered part of a city [or county]).

4. Each city or county that enters will select a 72-hour bird-a-thon "window" for their count. Entries may have as many teams as they like and teams can have as many members as they like. All teams and participants are allowed to count the whole 72 hour window.

5. All birds, to be officially countable, must be positively identified as to species by sight or sound (the honor system is employed here). No "sps", please (i.e., no genera/family entries, such as "Loon, sp.").

6. Only ABA-approved birds are countable; no psilly psittacines, please!

7. Any rare birds encountered should be written up, just as at a Christmas count.

8. "ABC/C" Bird-a-thon teams respect private property and in general comply with all the "rules of birding ethics" that have been published by groups such as ABA or NAS.

9. "ABC/C" Bird-a-thon teams must promptly provide the coordinator (below) with a summary of their results that includes a complete list of all species identified. This write-up verifies your sightings and allows a credible comparison of results. The write-up must be received by the coordinator by June 31, 2010.

10. To submit your results or for more information, contact: Mike Wilson , Dauphin Island Bird Sanctuaries, Inc., ABC/C coordinator by email at .


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