Feeder/Yard Watcher Information

Thanks very much for your interest in the 37th annual Buffalo Bayou Christmas Bird Count (CBC). Please read the information below carefully before filling out the Data Entry Form.

Click to return to the Buffalo Bayou Christmas Bird Count home page

With residential neighborhoods comprising so much of our count circle, you are a very important part of our efforts! Please note, you can count any time from midnight to midnight, starting 12:00 am on December 28, 2013 through 12:00 am on January 1, 2014.


DATA FOR THE COUNT MUST BE ENTERED BY JANUARY 15, 2014. (There is no need to sign up in advance if you are going to be a Feeder/Yard Watcher – just submit your observations via the Data Entry Form that you can access via this page.)

If you are participating part of the day in the field and part of the day at home, ALL your observations should be submitted with the field data for the area in which your home is located. IF that is the case, please give your observations to the appropriate Area Leader (i.e., do not submit those observations via this web site.)

If you have determined that your house is in the count circle, and you already are familiar with the material below, you may go directly to the Data Entry Form. Thanks very much for your help! We look forward to seeing your results.

IS YOUR HOUSE IN THE COUNT CIRCLE?
The house/neighborhood where you count must be within our count circle.
Click here to see a map of the count circle.
Click here to see which Zip Codes are in the count area. If you are unsure, contact the CBC Compilers.


WHAT BIRDS SHOULD YOU COUNT?
You may count any birds seen or heard around your house, your yard, and your neighborhood. Also, if you think any of your neighbors or friends elsewhere in the count circle may be interested, encourage them to help; they can report their results individually or through you in one composite list.

When you are finished counting, go to the entry form and enter the numbers (or your best estimates) of each species you observed. WE MUST HAVE NUMBERS FOR BIRDS OBSERVED ON COUNT DAY OR WE CANNOT USE THE DATA. If there is a big flock of grackles or other species that flies overhead, just make your best estimate (even if you feel there is a large error factor) — “a kazillion” or “too many to count” or simply an “X” does no good. Don’t double-count birds that may be visiting a feeder or other site multiple times (e.g., you check your feeder 3 times: you see 6 Mourning Doves at your feeder at 8:00 a.m., 4 at noon, and 8 at 4:00 p.m.; your total count for Mourning Doves = 8) — however, if you are sure they are different from birds previously observed, by all means count them (e.g., you see a female Cardinal in the morning and a male in the afternoon; your total Cardinal count = 2). Also, don’t enter a range of numbers (e.g., 75-100) — just put your single best estimate.

You’ll notice that not all possible species are listed on the entry form. This form includes species that are to be expected in yards, neighborhoods, or nearby parks (or flying overhead) within the Buffalo Bayou CBC area. ANY SPECIES NOT LISTED HERE MUST BE SUBMITTED (WITH SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION) USING THE UNUSUAL SPECIES REPORT AT THE END OF THE DATA ENTRY FORM. If you are not sure what species a bird may be, don’t guess.

Also, if you happen to observe any species during the three days before or after the count THAT YOU DID NOT OBSERVE ON COUNT DAY, please indicate “CW” (BUT NO NUMBERS) in the entry blank for those species. (For species you see on Count Day, don’t worry about any you see on the other days.)

OBSERVATION TIME EXAMPLE:
You observe your yard from 8:15 to 8:30 a.m., noon to 12:15 p.m., and 3:45 to 4:00 p.m.

[on the form] What time of day did you START Observing Birds?
Enter “8:15 a.m.”

[on the form] What time of day did you FINISH Observing Birds?
Enter “4:00 p.m.”

[on the form] Enter the TOTAL NUMBER OF HOURS that you spent observing birds.
Enter “0.75″