Every winter, thousands of volunteers take part in the Christmas Bird Count, conducted by the National Audubon Society. It has been happening for more than 120 years. That means there have been decades of data on what types of birds and how many there are in the LA area. The results give scientists and conservationists an insight into their habitats and what these birds need to survive.
“We actually found quite a few unexpected species,” says Alexander deBarros, compiler for the San Fernando Valley bird census. “We had a total of 14 species that we hadn’t seen for more than five years.”
Why more species now? He says that for the first time in six years his counting area did not go up in flames and the frequent winter storms may have blown some birds out of their usual migration.
DeBarros says he took an interest in birds in elementary school. “I’ve been bird watching since I was ten. I am 23 years old now. And I’ve found that bird watching really connects you to nature, you always look around and hope to see the new. I found redtail falcons and great horned owls in my garden. “