Nathan Ofsthun and I have grown to believe that Sedgwick County, KS is one of the birdiest counties in the country. This May we are going to try to prove it by compiling a list of birds seen within the county borders between Friday, May 8 and Sunday, May 10 for the America’s Birdiest City / County competition. The following are simply general guidelines for the competition .
-What is the competition?? It’s a national event in which birders attempt to tick off as many different species of birds as possible in a selected 72 hour window in an outlined location. The official website can be found at http://www.coastalbirding.org/ABC.htm .
-When and where is the competition?? Midnight Friday, May 8 2009 – 11:59 PM Sunday, May 10 2009. Our legal competing grounds are every square inch within Sedgwick County borders. We will be entering in the inland county field.
-What are some rules?? Birders can be either in teams or can participate as individuals and the teams can be as large as desired. Exceptionally rare birds, if encountered, must be written up as in a CBC. We can have an infinite amount of participants and teams can be different from day to day if applicable, so please feel free to invite your friends! All bird species must be identified to a species by sound or sight within the borders of Sedgwick County.
-How is it going to work?? Birders can go out and find birds wherever they want, for however long they want, and whenever they want within SG County over this time period and can send their compiled list of species to either me, Jeff, (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Nathan (email@example.com) . Reports should include who participated, what location birds were seen at, and a complete list of all species seen or heard within SG Co borders. The compilers will compile the final lists and Jeff will try to keep an up-to-date list available through email.
-What is this crazy kid asking birders to do??? I AM NOT asking for people to give up their lives for 72 hours straight so that they can tick off species until their fingers fall off. I think Sedgwick County will have the most success by getting as many people as possible out in the field in this three day window and allowing people to bird at their convenience and leisure in their own little corners of the county. I encourage you to think about if/how you might be interested in participating. All efforts, ranging from a ten minute jog through Wichita to a 72 hour county-wide tour, are welcomed. I encourage you to forward this invitation as you see fit and to talk about the concept in your Audubon or birding circles to start generating ideas and interest. I encourage you to mark your calendars and think about participating as much as you are willing and able to!
Any further questions of comments can be sent to me or Nathan. We’ll take as much constructive criticism as needed to help make Sedgwick County, our home, the birdiest county in 2009, so don’t hesitate to call or email. Thanks a lot everyone!