photo copyright Jennifer Green, 2012

Pinnacles Christmas Bird Count (CAPI-117)
The 2016 count will be held Friday, Dec. 30.

Information about the 2016 Pinnacles CBC follows.
Scroll down to see info about the count dinner - including the menu - and count resources, including the tally sheet, maps, and other resources.
Give us a yell if you want to participate or have any questions.
Hope to see you on the count.

Steve, Daniel, and Rusty

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:
Counters inside the park: Folks counting inside the park, meet Daniel at the campground store inside the east entrance at 7:00 on count day.

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 (same place as last year), 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:

Garlic Rosemary Rotisserie Chicken
½ chicken, freshly cooked, served with mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetable.
Note: the brining and wood smoke that are part of the preparation can give the meat a pink tint. This is not
undercooking, all our chickens are cooked to an internal tem
perature above 170 .

Black Bean Veggie Burger
Choice of Cheese and 1 Topper with Outlaw Fries.

Sausage and Mushroom Pizza
Tomato sauce, oregano, mozzarella, Italian sausage, & mushrooms

All American Burger
# burger with Cheddar, bacon & caramelized onions
Default garnish is lettuce, tomato, fresh red onions & dill pickle slices.

Chicken Apple Walnut Salad
Spring mix lettuce, grape tomatoes, cucumber, blue cheese crumbles,
Fuji apple, candied walnuts, & fresh grilled chicken.

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 Count Tally Sheet for use in the field is here. This is where you'll keep track of your counts.
The tally sheet is also where you'll record your effort and where participants will sign in.

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.

Campground Map: A detailed map of the campground and eastern entrance visitors center.

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

Recap of 2015 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.


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