photo copyright Jennifer Green, 2012

Pinnacles Christmas Bird Count (CAPI 123)
The 2023 count is scheduled for Friday, January 5, 2024.

Website updated 12/23/2023.

If you're interested in helping on the 2023 count (to be held on Friday, Jan. 5, 2024) email Daniel (

We cancelled the 2022 count at the last minute because of the large rainstorm. As it turns out, it was a wise decision.
Here are some comments about the 2021 count:


We did the 2021 count on 1/5/2022. The weather was generally clear and mild. We had adequate coverage on all routes. As has been the case for the past few years, we did not have access to significant bodies of water, so water birds were in short supply.


This is the first year we did the count using exclusively eBird as the data submission tool. This resulted in our number of checklists growing from 12 (paper) to 87 (eBird). It also raised questions about how to report effort, especially driving effort (using multiple stationary checklists on a driving route tends to understate total hours and mileage); simply take what eBird reports or ask counters to report total hours and mileage as in the past? One solution may be to have driving route leaders create narratives to accompany their eBird lists, including their own sum totals for the day. The eBird Trip Report feature may be a way to both aggregate all driving checklists into one set of sums for species as well as document overall  distances  and start-stop times. We do need clarity on whether groups will include time for relocating between sites – when not birding along the way.


COUNT RESULTS. After years of drought we were happy to see that most species counts were in the low-normal range. Here are some notables:


Cal Quail: 292, a near low.


Wild Turkey: 115, a near high.


Turkey Vulture: 30, a near high. We adjusted gross numbers to account for multiple parties seeing the same soaring birds simultaneously.


Cal. Condor: 17, as accurately reported by the condor techs in the park (the gross number was 54).


Mourning Dove and Yellow-billed Magpie: In 2013 the numbers of both of these east-side species declined greatly, with MODOs averaging in the teens and YBMA averaging in the 40s for the past few years. This year, we had 18 MODOs and 59 YBMAs.


Acorn Woodpecker numbers have been increasing more or less steadily over the years. We hit a new high of 405 this year.


The two unusual species this year were both seen in the park campground: two Chestnut-backed Chickadees (CBCHs are unusual inside the park) and one White-throated Sparrow (very infrequent in the park).

Steve Lombardi & Daniel George, compilers
Updated December 23, 2023

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:
All count routes will be coordinated one week or more in advance of the count day. Please confirm your route with Daniel George.

Daniel George coordinates the count inside the park:
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 compiler, Steve Lombardi, email Steve at or call cell 925/785-0130.

Submitting Your Count DataWe will provide directions for submitting your data via eBird for compilation. If you are confirmed for a route, expect an email a week or so before the count with more information.

Count Dinner: We will not hold a count dinner this year. We anticipate doing a Zoom recap meeting sometime after the count.

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.
We prefer that you submit your data by eBird.
But if you prefer to keep your data on paper during the count, feel free to use this tally sheet to record your count and your effort.

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.

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 Scalf for his hard work in making this map.
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 based on a low-res paper map from 2007.
Here's an annotated Google street map. The map key is on the third page. Created in 2023.

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: 

Area count sheet, 2016

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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