• Sunrise at the Cholla Cactus Garden

    Joshua Tree

    National Park California

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  • Cottonwood Trails Closed

    Trail access remains closed to Cottonwood Spring Oasis, Lost Palms Oasis, and Mastodon Peak. More »

  • Pinto Basin Road Under Construction; Expect 30+ Minute Travel Delays

    Visitors should expect 30+ minute waits when heading north and sound bound on the Pinto Basin Road. Due to construction activity around Cottonwood Visitor Center, additional waits of 30 minutes may be in place when leaving the visitor center parking lot. More »

  • Deteriorating conditions of Black Rock Canyon Road

    The road leading to Black Rock campground has deep potholes, is deeply rutted, and can be difficult to negotiate, especially in large vehicles. Please drive with caution.

Bird Count Scheduled For January 3

Joshua Tree National Park will hold its annual Christmas Bird Count on Saturday, January 3, 2009. Joshua Tree’s Christmas Bird Count is held each winter as part of the international Christmas Bird Count sponsored by the National Audubon Society.

Birdwatchers will canvas a 15-mile diameter circle from dawn to dusk in an effort to record each species and individual bird. The resulting count data is used to assess the status of winter bird populations.

Begun in 1967, the Joshua Tree Christmas Bird Count is now in its 42nd year, making it the park’s longest ongoing wildlife survey. Last year, 59 species were recorded.

Birdwatchers who would like to participate in the Joshua Tree count should plan to meet at 7:30 a.m. at either the Indian Cove Ranger Station or the West Entrance Station. Count participants will need to provide their own transportaion and should bring warm clothing, binoculars, food, and water. The count will conclude at 5:00 p.m.

Count participants should plan on spending the entire day in the field. Some routes may involve considerable walking or hiking. Prior bird watching experience is desirable, but not required. The Audubon Society requires a $5 fee from all participants, payable to the count compiler, for administration of the count (see http://www.audubon.org/Bird/cbc/).

The Christmas Bird Count was started in December, 1900 when Frank Chapman implored readers of the journal Bird-Lore to count birds during the holidays, rather than shoot them, as had been the tradition. Twenty-seven people turned out for Chapman’s first count. Over 100 years later, more than 50,000 participants take part each year in over 2,000 counts held in North America and elsewhere around the world. The Christmas Bird Count is now the largest bird survey ever conducted and the ultimate source of data about winter bird populations.

For more information on the Joshua Tree Christmas Bird Count, contact Joe Zarki at 760-367-5520, or Cindy VonHalle at 760-367-5521.

Did You Know?

49 Palms Oasis

Five of North America's 158 desert fan palm oases are located in Joshua Tree National Park, where fault lines force water to the surface. More...