photo copyright Jennifer Green, 2012

Pinnacles Christmas Bird Count (CAPI-116)

The 2016 count will be held Friday, Dec. 30.

Details will be forthcoming.

Following is info about last year's count.

(posted 10/4/16)

The 2015 count was held on Saturday, January 2, 2016.
Preliminary count results were 99 species (typical) and 11,000 individuals (also typical).
A link to the spreadsheet of the count results by route is posted at the bottom of the page.
Here's a recap of the count:

Many of our counters commented about how slow the birding was during the count, with many common species (Bewick’s Wren, Cal. Thrasher, Wrentit, among others) in short supply. This in spite of the fact that the weather was relatively moderate. Overall, however, both the species count (99) and the individual count (about 11,000 birds) were typical, albeit on the low side, for this count. For the first time in several years, we had access to a stock pond, which increased the species count by 8 or so through the inclusion of several ducks and other water species.

Two species for which we have recorded very low numbers vs. their historic average for the past three counts are Mourning Dove and Yellow-billed Magpie. Both of these birds are typically seen in the same areas; along La Gloria Rd. and Highway 25, i.e., on the east side of the crest but outside the park.

The counts of most other species appear to be on the low side of normal, although Red-winged Blackbirds and European Starlings were both much lower than average this year. Counts of Yellow-rumped Warblers and American Robins were also very low, but these species’ numbers have varied hugely over the years.

The California Condor number (17) is from the condor biologists in the park rather than from numbers submitted by our counters. The biologists are able to use telemetry data and video monitoring records to distinguish between individual condors.

All count routes were covered this year, and the count routes inside the park have been consistently covered since at least 2008.

Thanks again to the many NPS folks who make this count possible.

See you next year.
Steve, Daniel, and Rusty

This is count info for the 2015 count, 'cause it's easier to leave it here than to delete it.
Summary information from past counts is at the bottom of the page.
Count materials and information for the 2015 count

Count materials, including the tally sheet, participant sign-in sheet, and maps are available on this website (scroll down to Count Resources on this page). However, we will be
happy to mail/email anything if you request it. Most of these documents are pdf files and require Adobe Reader to open.

Contact Info:
Daniel George coordinates the count inside the park: cell 831.389.4397,
Note that there is essentially no cell phone service inside the park, so trying to call Daniel on count day will be hopeless.

To contact the other compilers, Rusty Scalf or Steve Lombardi, email Steve at or call cell 925/785-0130.

Count Dinner:
Let us know if you're coming to the count dinner so we can give the restaurant a heads-up. You can select your meal when you arrive; no need to pre-order as in the past.

You can arrive and begin eating whenever you wish. Officially, this year's count dinner will start at 5:30 PM and be held at The Running Rooster (Note: this is a different restaurant than the last few years), 800 San Benito Street (corner San Benito & South), Hollister, CA, CA 95023, (831) 634-0135.
Here's a Google Maps link:

We'll have the back room to ourselves. The menu will be limited to a choice of 5 dishes; you can order when you arrive at the restaurant.

Menu Choices:

Chicken Apple Walnut Salad  $14.00
Spring Mix Lettuce, Grape Tomatoes, Cucumber, Blue Cheese Crumbles, Fuji Apple, Candied Walnuts, & Fresh Grilled Warm Chicken
1/2 Garlic Rosemary Chicken   $14.00
Cooked on a rotating spit over a wood fire, this chicken is first marinated in fresh garlic and rosemary, then dusted with a complex blend of seasonings. Served with Mashed Potatoes and Seasonal Vegetables.
Classic Margherita Pizza  $11.00  (Vegetarian Option)
Tomato Sauce, Fresh Mozzarella, and Fresh Basil
Sausage & Mushroom Pizza  $12.00
Tomato Sauce, Fresh Oregano, Fresh Mozzarella, Italian Sausage, & Crimini Mushrooms
All American Burger  $14.00
Cheddar, Bacon, & Caramelized Onions
Comes with Outlaw fries and garnishes - Lettuce, Pickle, Tomato, & Red Onion

Count Resources: Following is a list of files that you might find helpful in doing the count. They are mainly pdf files and require Adobe Reader. 
Note: To avoid annoyance, we suggest opening these files in a New Tab (right click on the link and select New Tab).
Note: If any of these files fail to open in your browser, try right-clicking on the link and saving the file to your hard drive ("Save Target As" in Internet Explorer or "Save Link As" in Firefox).

The Tally Sheet for use in the field is here. This is where you'll keep track of your counts.

The Sign-in Sheet for counters. Route leaders; please have your counters sign-in. We'll need their email addresses if they wish to receive the digitized CBC summary published by Audubon.
There is no charge to participate in the CBC.

Audubon  Rare Bird Form. You'll need to fill out this form if you see any rare birds. Any species not shown on the Tally Sheet is considered rare and requires documentation.

Parking Permit: For those of you counting inside the park, here's a parking permit to save you from having to pay an entrance fee.

Maps: Following is a list of maps.

Inside-the-Park Count Routes: The NPS park map showing CBC count routes inside the park, prepared by Daniel George.

Count circle maps

  • To download or view a map of the count circle, which includes roads, terrain, vegetation, and landmarks, click here: PinnCBC_Landsat.pdf.  This file is 8.3MB in size, so will take a few minutes to download (but it's worth it).  Here is a lower resolution version of the map (2.4MB). Thanks to Rusty for his hard work in making this map.
  • If you don't want to download the big map above, here are two small maps of the partial count circle.
Park map: To download or view the official map of Pinnacles National Park, click here: Pinnacles NM Map.

Soledad city map, annotated: Much of the city of Soledad is in the count circle. Here's an annotated street map.

Other Links: Here are some links that you might find helpful.

Count Results
2012 count results (includes entire count history)

We've posted the other count results below in Excel format:  To see the count summary from the national

Audubon website click here:
Count Summary, 2011
Count Summary, 2010
Count Summary, 2009

To see the count results by count route, click here:

Area count sheet, 2015

Area count sheet, 2014

Area count sheet, 2013

Area count sheet, 2012

Area count sheet, 2011

Area count sheet, 2010
Area count sheet 2009


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