Spotted towhee, courtesy of Dennis Arendt

79th Eugene Christmas Bird Count

Our feathered friends will stand to be counted this weekend (well, as best they can) for the 79th Eugene Christmas Bird Count with the National Audubon Society. COVID-19 has had its impact here, too, says Dick Lamster of the Lane County Audubon Society. A greatly reduced number of field counters on Sunday will form 27 teams and cover a 15-mile diameter. The circle will extend north to the edge of Eugene Airport, east to I-5, west to the edge of Fern Ridge Reservoir and south to Spencer Butte. The field counter positions are filled up, but you can participate as a home counter. Lane Audubon’s Marcia Maffei says 84 households have so far signed up, and there’s room for more. Given the rainy forecast for Sunday, home counting may be the best way to count the native birds, those that recently have migrated from California or those that may have been displaced by the Holiday Farm Fire. 

The Eugene Christmas Bird Count with the National Audubon Society is Sunday, Jan. 3. All slots for field counters are full, but you can still sign up to be a home counter. If you’re interested, email Marcia Maffei at or Dick Lamster at