Christmas Bird Count Coming To Death Valley National Park On Saturday

Christmas is past, but counting birds is not. At Death Valley National Park, the annual Christmas Bird Count is scheduled for this coming Saturday.

You can experience the diversity of habitats and birds in Death Valley during the count. For beginners, this is a great opportunity to learn about birds in the area, get identification tips, and meet others interested in desert environments.

It's recommended that you dress in layers, bring hat and sunscreen, water and snacks/lunch, and binoculars if you have them.

Birders should meet at 7 a.m. at the Furnace Creek Golf Course Parking Lot. You don't need to commit to entire day, but must be there at 7 a.m.

The data collected by the CBC participants over the past century allows researchers, conservation biologists, and other interested individuals to study the long-term health and status of bird populations across North America. When combined with other surveys such as the Breeding Bird Survey, it provides a picture of how the continent's bird populations have changed in time and space over the past hundred years.

The long-term perspective made possible by the Christmas Bird Count is vital for conservationists. It informs strategies to protect birds and their habitat – and helps identify environmental issues with implications for people as well.

That said, November through March is probably the poorest season for birding in Death Valley. A few permanent residents remain, as well as occasional Sierran visitors. The majority of the park's avifauna can be found at the low mountain springs and desert oases. Furnace Creek Ranch, with its diversity of habitats is definitely a hot spot. Springs that occur at up to about 4,000 feet elevation are fairly popular wintering habitats as well.

Among the birds you're likely to encounter are Rock wrens, Winter wrens, American pipets, Common yellowthroats, and Yellow-rumped warblers.