Count birds in Yosemite at Christmas

Yosemite National Park is participating in the annual Christmas bird count to be held Sunday, Dec. 19.This is the 79th year Yosemite has participated in the bird count and the park has contributed more than 90,000 observations to this conversation event.

Volunteers will be assigned to different areas throughout the park to observe and count a wide variety of bird species. Results of the bird count will be published in the National Audobon Society Field Note.

Visitors planning to participate in this year’s event are asked to bring binoculars, a field guide, lunch, plenty of warm clothes, sturdy shoes and a $5 registration fee. The money is used to support the publication of the count results.The all-day event will end with a potluck dinner in Yosemite Valley at the Girl’s Club (the county library) where the group will share their observations from the day.

Last year’s event had 47 participants who counted and identified 1,771 birds of 59 species in the park. Highlights included Williamson’s sapsucker along the Old Big Oak Flat Road; an orange-crowned warbler in East Yosemite Valley; three Cassin’s finches on Turtleback Dome; and four wren species.

Participants last year saw species missed the previous year, such as a great blue heron, northern pygmy owl, white-headed woodpecker and cedar waxwings.

People interested in attending the event are asked to contact CBC organizer Sarah Stock at (209) 379-1435.

-- Carol Reiter