Robert introduced the One-a-Day eBird Challenge a year or two ago. Since then, I have made submitting an eBird checklist a top priority each day. I submit checklists from my yard, gas stations, grocery store parking lots, state parks, etc. You get the point, right? It’s not hard to submit one checklist each day, especially with BirdLog for iOS and Android. BirdLog is a necessity and should be on every birder’s smartphone. Check out Robert’s review of BirdLog here.
Do you love America? Are you a warm-blooded patriot looking for a way to enjoy your freedoms? Do you love birds? If you answered yes to one or all of these questions, then you qualify for the –
“Thermal Birding 4th of July Birding Challenge: ‘Merica Addition!”
One week from today, people all across the country will be having cookouts, launching fireworks, and birdwatching! The rules of the challenge are simple: when you are out birding on the 4th of July, every species you see that begins with the word “American” counts. Also, any species that begins with the name of a U.S. state (e.g.. California Towhee) also counts. You can also collect bonus birds for each of the following winged-countrymen you spot: Bald Eagle, Wild Turkey, and the official birds of each U.S. state. So, for example, let’s say I go out on Independence Day and see an American Robin, 5 American Crows, 3 American Redstarts, a Louisiana Waterthrush, a Bald Eagle, and a pair of Eastern Bluebirds, then I would have a grand total of 6 countable species. So it’s fairly straight-forward and similar to other ‘big day’ type competitions. Feeling patriotic yet?
As with all birding competitions, this is solely meant for the purposes of fun, and as long as you have a good time birding, that’s what really matters. Also, mid-summer can be a very slow time for bird watching, so this provides an excellent opportunity for birders to get out there and check out some breeding birds in your area or scour those neglected local hotspots. Please post replies on how you faired with the challenge, and try to nab as many of these species as you can. Remember, Thomas Jefferson may have spent all day inside on July 4th, 1776, but that doesn’t mean you should! So get out there and bird, people . . . USA, USA, USA!
Here is the list of the 57 eligible ‘4th of July birds’ for counting in the ABA area, including the official birds of each state. (Note: ‘state game birds’ have been omitted, as has Hawaiian Goose, Blue Hen Chicken, and Rhode Island Red Chicken).
- American Avocet
- American Bittern
- American Black Duck
- American Coot
- American Crow
- American Dipper
- American Flamingo
- American Golden-Plover
- American Goldfinch (also state bird for IA, NJ, and WA)
- American Kestrel
- American Oystercatcher
- American Pipit
- American Redstart
- American Robin (also state bird for CT, MI, and WI)
- American Three-toed Woodpecker
- American Tree Sparrow
- American White Pelican
- American Wigeon
- American Woodcock
- Arizona Woodpecker
- California Condor
- California Gnatcatcher
- California Quail (also state bird for CA)
- California Thrasher
- California Towhee
- California Gull (also state bird for UT)
- Carolina Chickadee
- Carolina Wren (also state bird for SC)
- Connecticut Warbler
- Florida Scrub Jay
- Kentucky Warbler
- Louisiana Waterthrush
- Mississippi Kite
- Tennessee Warbler
- Virginia Rail
- Bald Eagle
- Wild Turkey
- Northern Flicker (AL)
- Willow Ptarmigan (AK)
- Cactus Wren (AZ)
- Northern Mockingbird (AR, FL, MS, TN, and TX)
- Lark Bunting (CO)
- Brown Thrasher (GA)
- Mountain Bluebird (ID, NV)
- Northern Cardinal (IL, IN, KY, NC, OH, VI, and WV)
- Western Meadowlark (KS, MT, NE, ND, OR, and WY)
- Brown Pelican (LA)
- Black-capped Chickadee (ME, MA)
- Baltimore Oriole (MD)
- Common Loon (MN)
- Eastern Bluebird (MO, NY)
- Purple Finch (NH)
- Greater Roadrunner (NM)
- Scissor-tailed Flycatcher (OK)
- Ruffed Grouse (PA)
- Ring-necked Pheasant (SD)
- Hermit Thrush (VT)
A few good friends of mine and fellow birders are participating in the 2012 Alamos Wildlands Alliance (AWA) annual Bird-a-thon. They are calling themselves the BORDER PATROL. This is a 24 hour birding competition to raise money for the Alamos Wildlands Alliance. The competition will take place between January 31 and February 5.
The AWA is a non-profit ecological research station located in Mexico. The Border Patrol is a team of three people: Ben Zyla, Mandy Proudman, and their friend Ken. As they are good friends, I wanted to ask the readers of Words about Birds to consider making pledges to help raise money for the AWA.
Ben, Mandy, and Ken ask you to pledge a certain amount for every species of bird that they observe during the 24 hour birding period. The pledge could be from $0.01 to $1.00. Ben said that even a penny a bird would go a long way for this organization down in Mexico.
The Border Patrol will be birding in Texas and are hoping to see over 100 species and they feel that they have a good chance of winning. If luck is in their favor, they have the ability to see over 150 species! They will be birding at Bentson-Rio Grande State Park, Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, Ester Lllano Grande State Park, Laguna Astascosa National Wildlife Refuge, and South Padre Island.
Any pledge would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!
For more information you can visit these links:
You can contact Ben to discuss pledges. (theloraxx365 AT hotmail.com)