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For Immediate Use                                                                                               Contact: Alison Sheehey, (760) 378-2531
May 30, 2008                                                                                                                               rtollefson@audubon.org

Kern County, America's birdiest inland county for fifth year in a row!

For the fifth consecutive year, Kern County has won the America's Birdiest Inland County competition with 241 species of birds. Kern County was tied for fourth of all of the entries in overall species observed behind coastal counties Los Angeles County, CA, San Diego County, CA and Nueces County, TX and tied with coastal city, Corpus Christi, TX.

The America's Birdiest Inland County competition has been held for six years. The rules for the first three years of the competition allowed individuals to submit their highest 24 consecutive hour species count within the scheduled 48 hour count period. The 2003 winner of birdiest inland county was Cochise County, AZ. In 2004, Kern County won with 232 species. In 2005, Kern County won with 226 species. In 2006 the rules changed to where all species observed by any birder in the 72 consecutive hours scheduled for the effort were counted. Kern County birders observed 247 species in 2006 and 235 species in 2007.

Thanks to Bob Barnes for continuing to organize and compile this fun competition and thanks to Mike Wilson at Dauphin Island for compiling the results for the country again this year.  See Bob Barnes report below the winning entries.

2008 - Here are this year's winners: Categories: Place: Number of Species identified:

  • Coastal County, Pacific Coast: Los Angeles County, CA - 256

    • 2nd place San Diego County, CA - 248

  • Coastal County, Gulf Coast: Nueces County, TX - 253

  • Coastal County, Atlantic Coast: Washington County, ME - 165

  • Inland County, West: Kern County, CA - 241

    • 2nd Place Bexar County, TX - 190

  • Large Inland City: San Antonio, TX - 185

  • Large Coastal City: Corpus Christi, TX - 241

    • 2nd place San Diego, CA - 187

  • Small Coastal City: Dauphin Island, AL - 190


Written and submitted by Bob Barnes on May 28, 2008

FINAL RESULTS:

Following is the list of 241 bird species reported by the known 149 participants birding in Kern County, California during the 5pm, Thursday, May 1 through 5pm, Sunday, May 4, 2008 time period picked to conduct Kern County's America's Birdiest Inland County effort. The 2008 total of 241 species compares with 232 species in 2004, 226 in 2005, 246 in 2006, and 235 in 2007.

AREAS COVERED included: BAKERSFIELD (Beale Park, Hart Park, Lake Ming, and residential areas in the southern San Joaquin Valley), BITTER CREEK NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE (California Condor sanctuary), BUTTERBREDT SPRING (Mojave Desert foothills oasis & migrant/vagrant trap), CALIFORNIA CITY (Mojave Desert oasis & migrant/vagrant trap), CANEBRAKE ECOLOGICAL RESERVE (California Department of Fish & Game cottonwood/willow riparian forest, Joshua tree woodland, irrigated pasture land, and major migratory stopover site), CERRO COSO COLLEGE CAMPUS (Mojave Desert oasis & migrant/vagrant trap), CHIMNEY PEAK NATIONAL BACKCOUNTRY BYWAY (USDI-Bureau of Land Management Mojave Desert habitat), CHINA LAKE NAVAL AIR WEAPONS STATION PONDS (Mojave Desert waterbird & shorebird magnet), EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE PONDS IN KERN COUNTY (Mojave Desert waterbird & shorebird magnet), FROG SPRING (Mojave desert oasis), GALILEO HILL (Mojave Desert resort & migrant/vagrant trap), GREENHORN MOUNTAINS (Sequoia National Forest - west side Sierra Nevada mixed conifer habitat & USDI-Bureau of Land Management chaparral/foothill habitat), INYOKERN PRIVATE SANCTUARIES (Mojave Desert migrant/vagrant traps), ISABELLA RESERVOIR (large, 580,000+ acre feet capacity reservoir in the Kern River Valley and accompanying campgrounds), KELSO CREEK SANCTUARY (Audubon-California Mojave Desert habitat and migrant trap), KELSO VALLEY (private & USDI-Bureau of Land Management Mojave Desert habitat & ponds), KELSO VALLEY ROAD (leads to Kelso Valley - Mojave Desert & riparian habitat), KERN NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE (11,000-acre traditional waterfowl refuge located in the southern San Joaquin Valley - extensive open water, marshes, and riparian habitat), KERN RIVER PRESERVE (Audubon-California cottonwood/willow riparian habitat and major migratory stopover site), MOUNT PINOS, PIUTE MOUNTAINS (Sequoia National Forest - Great Basin/Mojave Desert mountain range), SCODIE PARK/ONYX (Kern County Parks Department), SOUTH FORK WILDLIFE AREA (Sequoia National Forest - cottonwood/willow riparian forest and major migratory stopover site), TULE ELK RESERVE (California State Parks - west side of the southern San Joaquin Valley), WALKER PASS (Sequoia National Forest & USDI-Bureau of Land Management - Great Basin/Mojave Desert montane habitats), WIND WOLVES PRESERVE (100,000+ acre private wildlife sanctuary in the southwestern San Joaquin Valley ... valley floor to nearly 6000').

241 REPORTED SPECIES:
KEY: (I) = Introduced (but countable)
Ross's Goose
Canada Goose
Tundra Swan
Wood Duck
Gadwall
American Wigeon
Mallard
Blue-winged Teal
Cinnamon Teal
Northern Shoveler
Northern Pintail
Green-winged Teal
Redhead
Ring-necked Duck
Greater Scaup
Lesser Scaup
Bufflehead
Common Merganser
Ruddy Duck
Chukar (I)
Ring-necked Pheasant (I)
Wild Turkey (I)
Mountain Quail
California Quail
Common Loon
Pied-billed Grebe
Eared Grebe
Western Grebe
Clark's Grebe
American White Pelican
Double-crested Cormorant
American Bittern
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Cattle Egret
Green Heron
Black-crowned Night-Heron
White-faced Ibis
Turkey Vulture
California Condor
Osprey
White-tailed Kite
Bald Eagle
Northern Harrier
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Cooper's Hawk
Northern Goshawk
Red-shouldered Hawk
Swainson's Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Golden Eagle
American Kestrel
Merlin
Peregrine Falcon
Prairie Falcon
Virginia Rail
Sora
Common Moorhen
American Coot
Black-bellied Plover
Snowy Plover
Semipalmated Plover
Killdeer
Black-necked Stilt
American Avocet
Spotted Sandpiper
Greater Yellowlegs
Lesser Yellowlegs
Solitary Sandpiper
Willet
Long-billed Curlew
Marbled Godwit
Sanderling
Semipalmated Sandpiper
Western Sandpiper
Least Sandpiper
Dunlin
Long-billed Dowitcher
Wilson's Snipe
Wilson's Phalarope
Red-necked Phalarope
Franklin's Gull
Bonaparte's Gull
Ring-billed Gull
California Gull
Caspian Tern
Black Tern
Forster's Tern
Rock Pigeon
Band-tailed Pigeon
Eurasian Collared-Dove (I)
Spotted Dove (I)
White-winged Dove
Mourning Dove
Common Ground-Dove
Greater Roadrunner
Barn Owl
Flammulated Owl
Western Screech-Owl
Great Horned Owl
Northern Pygmy-Owl
Burrowing Owl
Spotted Owl
Northern Saw-whet Owl
Lesser Nighthawk
Common Poorwill
Vaux's Swift
White-throated Swift
Black-chinned Hummingbird
Anna's Hummingbird
Costa's Hummingbird
Calliope Hummingbird
Rufous Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher
Acorn Woodpecker
Red-breasted Sapsucker
Ladder-backed Woodpecker
Nuttall's Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
White-headed Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Olive-sided Flycatcher
Western Wood-Pewee
Willow Flycatcher
Hammond's Flycatcher
Gray Flycatcher
Dusky Flycatcher
Pacific-slope Flycatcher
Black Phoebe
Say's Phoebe
Vermilion Flycatcher
Ash-throated Flycatcher
Brown-crested Flycatcher
Cassin's Kingbird
Western Kingbird
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
Loggerhead Shrike
Cassin's Vireo
Plumbeous Vireo
Hutton's Vireo
Warbling Vireo
Steller's Jay
Western Scrub-Jay
Pinyon Jay
Clark's Nutcracker
American Crow
Common Raven
Horned Lark
Purple Martin
Tree Swallow
Violet-green Swallow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Bank Swallow
Cliff Swallow
Barn Swallow
Mountain Chickadee
Oak Titmouse
Verdin
Bushtit
Red-breasted Nuthatch
White-breasted Nuthatch
Pygmy Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Cactus Wren
Rock Wren
Canyon Wren
Bewick's Wren
House Wren
Winter Wren
Marsh Wren
American Dipper
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Western Bluebird
Townsend's Solitaire
Swainson's Thrush
Hermit Thrush
American Robin
Wrentit
Northern Mockingbird
California Thrasher
Le Conte's Thrasher
European Starling (I)
American Pipit
Cedar Waxwing
Phainopepla
Orange-crowned Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's and Myrtle)
Black-throated Gray Warbler
Townsend's Warbler
Hermit Warbler
MacGillivray's Warbler
Common Yelllowthroat
Wilson's Warbler
Yellow-breasted Chat
Summer Tanager
Western Tanager
Green-tailed Towhee
Spotted Towhee
California Towhee
Rufous-crowned Sparrow
Chipping Sparrow
Brewer's Sparrow
Lark Sparrow
Black-throated Sparrow
Sage Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Fox Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Lincoln's Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Golden-crowned Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Black-headed Grosbeak
Blue Grosbeak
Lazuli Bunting
Indigo Bunting
Red-winged Blackbird
Tricolored Blackbird
Western Meadowlark
Yellow-headed Blackbird
Brewer's Blackbird
Great-tailed Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Hooded Oriole
Bullock's Oriole
Scott's Oriole
Purple Finch
Cassin's Finch
House Finch
Red Crossbill
Pine Siskin
Lesser Goldfinch
Lawrence's Goldfinch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow (I)
TOTAL SPECIES: 241

149 PARTICIPANTS: Eric Abercrombie, Liga Auzins, Bob Barnes, Cherie Barth, Lance Benner, John Birsner, Jack Bitzer, Ann Boddum, Tracy Borneman, Bill Bouton, Brenda Burnett, Kelly Bryan, Mariano Caceres, Mario Caceres, Nan Carder, Betty Cash, David Chilton, Barbara Coley, Roger Coley, Carol Coy, Bill Cullen, John Cunlisse, John Curlew, Mary Curlew, Joe Devine, Charles Ellis-MacLeod, Madi Elsea, Terry Ferguson, Gary File, Lisa Fimiani, Ernie Flores, Birdie Foster, Scott Frazer, Trude Frazer, Mary Freeman, Nick Freeman, Bob Frescura, Wes Fritz, Jan Gaffney, Frank Gibson, Daniel Gilman, Rebecca Gracey, Elene Gravelle, Noel Gravelle, Stan Gray, Debbie Gutshall, Fred Heath, Carlie Henneman, Steve Hilbig, Sylvia Hilbig, Cher Hollingsworth, Ann Hoover, Andrew Howe, Liam Huber, Scott Huber, John Ide, Nancy Ivey, Linda Johnson, Jenny Jones, Bruce Kautz, Dorothy Kautz, Judy Kautz, Roy Kautz, Jerri Kerr, Kim Kinsman, Pam Kling, Mary Klinkel, Sandy Koonce, Loretta Kuhler, Ron Kuhler, Brenda Kyle, Ken Kyle, John Lampkin, Rod Lee, Kelli Levinson, Kevin Liberg, Cathy Liss, Dan Lockshaw, David Maas, Elisa Malin, Charles Massieon, Carla McBee, Shelley McCune, Tess McGuire, Michael McQuerrey, Terri Middlemiss, Alan Miller, Nancy Miller. Bill Moffat, Laura Mogg, Marie Monsen, Gail Morris, Linda Oberhotlzer, Glenn Olson, Christine Okon, Katy Penland, Laura Phail, Dan Portway, Gary Potter, Mike Prather, Patricia Price, Jack Quinn, Barbara Reifel, Don Reinberg, Matt Reiter, Nancy Robinson, Rob Robinson, Donna Royer, Jim Royer, Sal Salerno, Mike San Miguel, James Sandor, Jim Scarff, John Schmitt, Lynn Schwagle, Jeff Seay, Pat Shanks, Christiane Shannon, Alison Sheehey, Dale Smith, Olaf Soltau, Steve Sosensky, Ian Starr, Bob Steele, Susan Steele, John Sterling, Jim Stillwell, Pamela Stones, Lee Sutton, Shirley Sutton, Brent Thompson, Luisa Thompson, Reed Tollefson, Bert Townsend, Elaine Townsend, Richard Trier, Jeff Wagner, Tiffiny Wagner, Chris Walden, Barb Walls, Wendy Walwyn, Mary Whitfield, Irmgard Willock, Sandra Wieser, Linda Wilford, David Wimpfheimer, Jan Wilson, John Wilson, Tom Wurster.

Abundant thanks to all participants,

Bob Barnes
Ridgecrest, Kern County, California
C: 760-382-1260
P: 760-375-6140


The Rules of the Game - 2008 (From http://www.coastalbirding.org/ABC.htm)
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, 2008.

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

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