Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A great, green local birding game for 2014

Rusty Blackbird, Terrapin Nature Park, Kent Island, Maryland
Dan Haas, founder and curator of the Maryland Birding pages on Facebook, has come up with this great local birding competition for 2014 - designed to increase birding knowledge of local sites, plus help the environment and save on gas.
It of course can be easily modified for any locale.
Happy 2014 everyone!

The Great 2014 Maryland Bird-Your-Patch Contest!

Before January 1st, 2014, PICK and SUBMIT 3 (three) "local" eBird HOTSPOTS (preferably, one located in YOUR neck of the woods), and also keep a SEPARATE yard / neighborhood / community list.

***In order to track this data, everyone should utilize www.eBird.org to enter and track data.***

-Observe and document the most # of species within their 3 specified HOTSPOTS and within their YARD/COMMUNITY.  

-Grow the # of checklists per HOTSPOT, as well as the species totals for each location.

-Across MD, eBird HOTSPOTS will get better, year-round coverage. Your personal local county lists may well improve. You will save $$ on gas. You will spend more time birding and less time driving. You will have more time for friends and families. 

Hopefully, some amazing rarities will be discovered throughout the year, throughout Maryland. But for nearly everyone, one's local knowledge and birding skills will improve (for some by leaps and bounds).

-For now, these are TBA.  I am hoping to line up some great prizes for specific categories like: most improved HOTSPOT, best yard/community, overall species count, best bird, highest totals %-wise in comparison to overall County year totals, etc. 

Some great prize suggestions have already been made, like: Tickets for a 2015 MD Pelagic, Paid Registration for an MOS Conference, a County or State Park Pass, Optics Gift Certificate, Restaurant Gift Certificate, Native Plant or Tree... just to name a few! Needless to say, I'll be working on that early in 2014.

NOTE: Suggestions for awards and categories are most welcome.

If you think you might be interested, do these simple steps:

1.) PICK your 3 eBird HOTSPOTS and name your 'yard/community/neighborhood' location.  

2.) Email your picks to me at "nervousbirds at gmail dot com"

3.) Pull your HOTSPOT data.  Research your locations using eBird data. Pull both the "All-time," and "2013," Year Totals and Checklist Totals for each of your locations, including your yard/community/neighborhood.

4.) Go bird your patch in 2014.

Good Luck, Good Birding and Happy New Year all,

Dan Haas
Annapolis, MD

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