So right off the bat we can tell you there are 1000 possible points up for grabs if you complete all the challenges. What do you get if you manage to reach that goal? We're working on a prize package and reaching out to several local companies for donations for the winners. Besides a small prize package you will also ge the limited edition 2015 Utah Birders Challenge Sticker--we will only print one for each person who reaches the goal so it will truly be limited. You'll also get bragging rights. This year anyone who competes can basically brag that they beat Jeff Bilsky since he might only manage a few points from his distant new home. Let's jump right into the challenge!
This year we want you to submit 1 complete eBird checklist for a birding location in Utah every day of the year. It can be any location; your home, your office, your drive, a lunch break birding sessions--whatever you can manage. It must be a traveling count or a stationary count and can be as short as 1 minute. For every day you submit a checklist you will earn 1 point, for a total possible 365 points this year, just by submitting a checklist.
Now if you've done your math you know that 365 + 100 + 290 = 755. This means there are an additional 245 points available to each participant. The way to earn these is simple: 5 bonus points for each eBird birding hotspot write up submitted for the Utah Birding Spots page on Utahbirders.com (http://utahbirdingspots.blogspot.com/) for up to 49 locations. We want to see if we can get a hot spot write up for every location by the end of the year, so we can have a complete guide to Utah Birding locations, with maps, photos, links to eBird lists, and the ability for users to comments and add information going forward. We have a small portion of these hot spots done, but have a listen of almost 1300 we need information for--and no one knows those places like the birders who go there.
If you want to work on the bonus points for locations, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can set you up to do so, and make sure folks aren't double creating locations.
For anyone interested in a side challenge just for the fun of it we are challenign you all to do a NON HOME-COUNTY BIG YEAR. The idea is simple. Do a county big year--in a county where you don't live! SO if you live in Salt Lake County, choose another county and do a Big Year!
There are no points, no awards, just your own personal satisfaction, and a little good humored ribbing between other birders as you try to find as many birds as possible in a county you don't live in this year--if you happen to have homes in 2 counties--choose one of the other 27 available... :)