I'm providing a quick update regarding the Christmas Bird Count that was held on Santa Cruz Island on January 2, 2020. The island CBC began in 2007 and is a partnership between The Nature Conservancy, UC Santa Barbara Natural Reserve System, Audubon and Island Packers Co.
The count circle spans from Christy Beach at the west end of the island to the Prisoner's Harbor bight. Access around the interior of the island is limited due to logistics and road conditions.
30 participants found a total of 83 species, which were the usual mix of island residents plus wintering birds. The most common bird observed: Island Scrub Jay.
A total of 115 miles (including 33 miles at sea) was scoured for birds in 63 total hours of search effort. Total number of birds counted: 3,458!
The stand-out this year was one Short-eared Owl (only the 4th record for Santa Cruz Island)!
Thanks to all who continue to make this data collection possible.