Cartoon Goose looks through binoculars across Blitzen Valley Meadow

Written by Teresa Wicks /Photos by Teresa Wicks and Participants

Saturday, December 19, 2020 33 participants from nine local families turned out for Harney County’s second annual Christmas Bird Count for Kids (CBC4Kids). It was a cold but sunny day with perfect bluebird skies, though no bluebirds made a showing for the count. Our teams counted birds along designated routes in Burns and Hines, stopping at predetermined CBC4Kids checkpoints where they were encouraged to take and share their group photos.

During the 1.5 hour count our intrepid families counted 26 species, including 722 California Quail. That’s two more species and 362 more quail than last year! While the format of the count was very different from last year to accommodate for COVID safety, families were still able to enjoy the morning and a lunch certificate for Figaro’s pizza. This year’s CBC4Kids awards are as follows:

Best Team Name: Hal Fred’s hitch caught the birds

Best Family Photo: Quiet Quail

Most Species Counted: Jabberjays

Most Quail Counted: Bird Nerds

Thank you to everyone that agreed to host a CBC4Kids checkpoint. This includes numerous local backyard birders that kept their feeders filled the day of the count, the schools and ESD, the cities of Burns and Hines, and the following businesses: Geno’s Youth Center and Kid’s Club, Steens Mountain Brewing Co., Harney County Veterinary Clinic, Hines Mill House, and The Aspens Living Center.

Lastly, a big thank you to our community partners: Portland Audubon’s Eastern Oregon Program, Friends of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Harney County Library, and Burns District Bureau of Land Management; and to our sponsors Leupold and Stevens for donating binoculars and a scope to support birding and nature exploration by Harney County youth and families, and Bird Collective for a generous discount on bird patches for this and other programs.

To learn more about and to support educational programming CLICK HERE.