Bird Board

June Challenge

The June Challenge begins on Monday, June 1.

The June Challenge is a friendly competition designed to keep us birding through the summer heat while non-birders retreat indoors and miss all the fun. The aim of the competition is for each individual contestant to see as many species as possible within the boundaries of his or her county between June 1st and June 30th.

Please be aware of any state of local COVID 19 restrictions in your area and stay safe. Some state parks in Florida are still closed. Exercise social distancing and wear facemasks if appropriate. Avoid large gatherings.

Rules will be posted next week on BRDBRAIN.

****Please be sure to send your results to me by midnight on July 1 in order to be counted.****
Results will be posted to BRDBRAIN.

Marie Zeglen
Gainesville

Comments

Brian Rapoza
4 months ago

For those unfamiliar with BRDBRAIN, it's located at http://listserv.usf.edu/scripts/wa.exe?A0=BRDBRAIN

Marie Zeglen
4 months ago

Here is the text of the coming announcement for June Challenge, for anyone who is not on BRDBRAIN:

The June Challenge begins on Monday, June 1.

For those new to the list here is a quick summary of the rules:

The June Challenge is a friendly competition designed to keep us birding through the summer heat while non-birders retreat indoors and miss all the fun. The aim of the competition is for each individual contestant to see as many species as possible within the boundaries of his or her county between June 1st and June 30th.

Please be aware of any state or local COVID 19 restrictions in your area and stay safe. Some state parks in Florida are still closed. Exercise social distancing and wear facemasks if appropriate. Avoid large gatherings.

2004 by Alachua's Becky Enneis originated the Challenge in 2004. Here is Rex Rowan’s long-standing statement of the rules for the Challenge:
1. Count only birds found within a single county, ideally the one you live in. Explore your home turf and find some new birding spots. (Doing more than one county is permissible, but each must be reported separately.)
2. Each bird on your list must be seen, not just heard. There have been complaints in the past about the no-heard-birds rule. The most substantial objection involved the possibility that secretive birds would be harassed until they came into view. To this I'll simply say: Don't do that. Respect the birds. Use tapes judiciously and avoid harassment. Rely on patience and birding skill.
3. You'll be competing with birders in your own county to see who can amass the longest individual list, but let the others know if you find something good so they can go out and look for it. It is, after all, a friendly competition. (A word about the individual competition. Some birders don't like it, but it's crucial to the Challenge. Counties with spirited competition make the most exciting discoveries, because the birders are always out looking for something new to beat their competitors. So the competition is both (a.) beside the point and (b.) absolutely essential. Both.)
4. Do not include any captive birds. Any free-flying bird is countable for the purposes of the Challenge, but keep track of how many ABA-countable and non-countable species are on your list. Report them in this format: "Total number seen (number that are ABA countable / number that are not)," e.g., 115 (112 / 3). If your local population of an exotic species is recognized as established by the ABA, then any member of that population is an ABA-countable bird. Otherwise put it on your non-countable list. For instance, a bird belonging to an established population of Monk Parakeets would be ABA-countable. An escaped Monk Parakeet, or a Mute Swan in a city park, would not be.
****Please be sure to send your results to me by midnight on July 1 in order to be counted.****
Send to kayaker3955@gmail.com
Results will be posted to BRDBRAIN.

Hints for new Challengers: Bird as much as you can during the first and last weeks of the month, to get late spring and early fall migrants. Those of you in landlocked counties, check your big lakes for coastal strays like gulls, terns, and pelicans.

Here in Gainesville, the Challenge will kick off with a field trip on June 1st, visiting several areas in the course of the morning to get people started on their lists. If you've got a local organization, this might be a good way to encourage participation, especially among people who are nervous about birding alone.

And remember! The deadline for results is midnight on Wednesday, July 1st. Please be sure to send your results in by the deadline in order to be counted!

Marie Zeglen
Gainesville
Kayaker3955@gmail.com

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