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  • Road Closures Due to El Portal Fire

    The Big Oak Flat Road between Crane Flat and the El Portal Road is temporarily closed. There is no access to Yosemite Valley via the Big Oak Flat Road or Highway 120. Tioga Road is open and accessible via Big Oak Flat and Tioga Pass Entrances. More »

  • Campground Closures Due to Fire

    Crane Flat, Bridalveil Creek, and Yosemite Creek Campgrounds are temporarily closed. More »

  • Yosemite National Park is Open

    Yosemite Valley, Glacier Point, and Wawona/Mariposa Grove areas are open and accessible via Highways 140 and 41. Tioga Road is not accessible via Highways 140 and 41 due to a fire.

Yosemite National Park Participates in 111th Annual Christmas Bird Count

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Date: December 8, 2010

Joining tens of thousands of volunteers from across the country, Yosemite National Park is participating in the annual Christmas Bird Count (CBC) to be held on Thursday, December 16, 2010.* This is the 79th year that Yosemite is participating in the CBC and the park has contributed over 90,000 observations to this fun and important conservation event.  

Volunteers will be assigned to different areas throughout the park to observe and count a wide variety of bird species. This important event helps Yosemite National Park Biologists, and biologists throughout the country to assess the varieties and quantities of birds observed. Results of the bird count will be published in the National Audubon Society Field Note.  

Visitors planning to participate in this event are asked to bring binoculars, field guide, lunch, plenty of warm clothes, sturdy shoes, and a $5 registration fee (money used to support the publication of the count results). This all day event culminates in a potluck dinner in Yosemite Valley at the Girl’s Club (County Library) where the group will share their observations from the day.

Last year’s event had 47 participants who counted and identified 1,771 birds of 59 species in the park. Highlights included Williamson's sapsucker along the Old Big Oak Flat Road Trail; an orange-crowned warbler in East Yosemite Valley; three Cassin's finches on Turtleback Dome; and four wren species (canyon, Bewick's, house and winter), all in El Portal except for the winter wren observed on the Old Big Oak Flat Road Trail. Participants saw species missed the previous year, such as a great blue heron, northern pygmy-owl, white-headed woodpecker, and cedar waxwing, but missed the huge flocks of American robins and band-tailed pigeons typical of other years.

People interested in attending the event are asked to contact CBC organizer, Sarah Stock at 209-379-1435 or by email.

*Updated 12/15 to reflect change in date from 12/19 to 12/16 due to weather.

Did You Know?

Sierra Sweet Bay

In Wawona and downstream, the South Fork Merced River provides habitat for a rare plant, the Sierra sweet bay (Myrica hartwegii). This special status shrub is found in only five Sierra Nevada counties. In Yosemite, it occurs exclusively on sand bars and river banks along the South Fork Merced River downstream from Wawona and on Big Creek.