Thank you for participating in the Carpinteria Christmas Bird Count (CBC). This year the Carpinteria CBC will take place on Saturday, December 16, 2023.
Instructions for everyone
Know your assignment — You should have been assigned an area to cover by the count’s organizers. If you’re unclear on where you’ll be birding on count day, or you have any other questions, contact John Callender at [email protected] or by phone or text at 805-455-0053.
Note: On count day itself (Saturday, December 16), John will be busy birding. Your best bet if you have questions will be to call or text the Carpinteria CBC Hotline at 805-364-2499.
Coordinate with your group — If you’ll be birding with other people you should have received contact information for the other people in your group when you got your assignment. Coordinate with your group leader on logistics: where and when to meet, etc.
Have fun! — Wherever you are, whatever the weather, whatever birds you’re lucky enough to find, have a great time on count day! 🙂
Instructions for group leaders
Checklist — As group leader you are responsible for your group’s checklist(s) of species identified and the counts for each species. Someone else can record the list, but as group leader you are responsible for its accuracy. See Bird Counting 101 from eBird for advice on making estimates of large bird numbers.
Get us your list of species by noon on count day — It will be very helpful for those of us who want to keep birding if you can get your list in by noon. Here’s how to do that:
- Use eBird. This is the preferred approach. Share your list with the “CarpCBC” eBird user, either at the time you submit the list or afterwards at the eBird website. See Sharing Checklists at eBird for help.
- Use the Carpinteria CBC Hotline. If you can’t get your eBird list in by noon, you can also just call the hotline number — (805) 364-2499 — and give us your list verbally. You’ll still need to get your full checklist to us later using one of the other methods described here, but the verbal report will be enough for the noon tally.
- If you can’t use eBird, as a last resort you can submit paper-based checklists. To do that take a cellphone photo of your checklist and email it to [email protected] or text it to the Carpinteria CBC Hotline at (805) 364-2499. You also can turn in paper-based checklists at the mid-day tally meeting at the Carpinteria Library (see below). See the bottom of this page for links to paper-based forms.
Other documentation — Once you’ve submitted your checklist the other documentation isn’t as time-sensitive, but it is helpful if you can get it in quickly. Please submit the following items by one week after count day.
- Participant and effort form: All group leaders and solo birders need to report their effort (party count, time, and distance) in the format required by the National Audubon Society’s CBC organizers. The easiest way to do this is to fill out the online group leader effort form. The form has a lot of fields, but most of them can be safely ignored. It should only take group leaders a few minutes to fill it out. Filling out the online form is the preferred way for you to submit your group’s effort information.
- As a last resort, you can also use the paper-based approach to submit your group’s effort information. See the bottom of this page for a link to the paper-based effort form, which you can download and fill out. Then take a cellphone photo of the completed form and email it to [email protected] or text it to the Carpinteria CBC Hotline at (805) 364-2499.
- Rarity documentation: Any bird that triggers the eBird rarity filters when you are submitting your eBird checklist will require additional documentation. The best way to submit that documentation is to put it in your eBird list; see How to document your sightings from eBird for help on how to do that.
- As a last resort you can use the paper-based approach to submit your rarity documentation. If you are using the paper-based checklist, rarities requiring documentation will be marked with an asterisk. Download the rarity documentation form from the links below, fill it out, then take a cellphone photo of your documentation and email it to [email protected] or text it to the Carpinteria CBC Hotline at (805) 364-2499.
Instructions for Gung-ho Types
The above instructions cover everything you need to do. But if you want to do more, you can! 🙂
Scouting — You can help by scouting the count circle before the big day. Submit your scouting information by sharing your eBird checklist with the “CarpCBC” eBird user, just as you would on the day of the count.
Updating the scouting/tally spreadsheet — As part of your scouting, and on count day itself, consider updating our shared real-time tally spreadsheet of birds seen by entering your information in the “Seen by” and “Location” columns for any birds you find that no one else has reported yet.
Note: You might need an app like the Google Sheets app on your phone in order to enter updates in the field. You can practice by updating the spreadsheet prior to count day with your scouting results. The night before the count we’ll empty the “Seen by” column so we’re ready for the count, but we’ll keep the “Locations” column so we know where birds were seen during scouting.
Hotline — On count day between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. you can check in by phoning the Carpinteria CBC Hotline at (805) 364-2499. We’ll have someone staffing that number throughout the day, as well as monitoring and updating the tally spreadsheet as checklists come in. You can report rarities that you’ve seen, find out about rarities others have seen, or coordinate on chasing species we still need.
Real-time group chat — On the day of the count we’ll be using the group-messaging tool Slack to coordinate. Use the following invite link to join: Santa Barbara Birders Slack workspace. Once in Slack, see the #cbc-carpinteria channel.
All of the following Zoom meetings are optional, but everyone is welcome to join.
Thursday, December 14 (two days before the count) 6:30 p.m. “tune up” meeting — Two days before the count we’ll have an evening Zoom meeting to do a quick review and answer any questions people have.
Topic: Carpinteria CBC tune-up meeting
Time: Dec 14, 2023 06:30 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
Meeting ID: 854 3832 8521
Saturday, December 16 (count day) 12:30 p.m. tally — On count day we’ll have a meeting at 12:30 p.m. to go over what we’ve found, what’s still missing, and plan afternoon birding for anyone who wants to keep going. This meeting will take place in person at the Carpinteria Library meeting room (5141 Carpinteria Avenue in Carpinteria; the meeting room has its own entrance to the right of the library as you look from the street), as well as online via Zoom.
Topic: Carpinteria CBC 12:30 p.m. tally meeting
Time: Dec 16, 2023 12:30 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
Meeting ID: 854 3832 8521
Saturday, December 16 (count day) 6:30 p.m. compilation meeting — On count day we’ll have a Zoom meeting (only) at 6:30 p.m. to celebrate, share stories, and see what the final (preliminary) species total was.
Topic: Carpinteria CBC evening wrap-up meeting
Time: Dec 16, 2023 06:30 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
Meeting ID: 854 3832 8521
- Carpinteria CBC main page
- 2023 Carpinteria CBC sign-up form
- 2023 Carpinteria CBC group leader effort form
- Shared tally spreadsheet – for real-time updates in the field
- Santa Barbara Birders Slack Workspace – for multi-user chat
- 2023 Carpinteria CBC *pre-count scouting* trip report
- 2023 Carpinteria CBC *count day* trip report
- Count circle map – the boundaries of our count circle
- eBird: Main eBird web site, eBird data entry app, a good how-to video on using eBird for data entry, eBird Essentials course
Previous Carpinteria CBCs: