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The 2014 Utah Birders Challenge

posted by Tim Avery at
on Monday, January 27, 2014 

READY... SET... GO...

This years challenge is easier than last years, but can also be quite a bit harder--this year we are sending you on a birding scavenger hunt to try and find and/or photograph some of the most unique, rare, representative, and down right hard birds to find. It will be a monumental challenge to snag all 100 species on the list--and to photograph them will be even trickier. This year photos are not required--you can just hear or see the species to count it, but if you get a photo, it's worth double points.

Are you up to the challenge?

The challenge includes 96 species on a sliding scale of 1 to 5 for how hard they should be to get--the harder the find, the more valuable the species. There are 4 bonus birds/photos that are worth more points and are a bit more of a challenge. Finally there are 16 additional scavenger hunt items that can be picked up for bonus points. Some are birds, some are people, some are events, and some have the possibility for multiple photos and points.

Spreadsheet to track your sightings!

To participate you'll need to sign up below so we can give you a spreadsheet to keep track of your points. If you are going to take photos, you will need to create a new Flickr Set in your account called, 2014 Utah Birders Scavenger Hunt, and tag all photos with "utah birders", and add your pictures to the Utah Birders Flickr Pool Group.

Utah Birders Flickr Pool

The contest is open until December 31, 2014--you may use photos taken in January (before we announced the challenge)... The only rules are that all sightings and photos must happen in Utah. Once you've signed up we will send you the official checklist and tracking sheet to keep track of your scavenger hunt for the year.

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Blogger Shyloh Monster said...

Started it off right and had a 4 falcon day and one waxwing tattoo (all from a stationary position). This is gonna be fun!

January 28, 2014 at 10:49 AM  
Blogger Tim Avery said...


About 30 birders are stepping up to the plate for this one so we are very excited. We've had a few questions and so I wanted to take a minute to just make sure everyone gets the spreadsheet and the rules.

Once singed up, you should have received a shared Google spreadsheet invite from me--this is your official tracking page that you get to keep updated with which of the things you saw, and which you photographed. So if you see the bird, mark and X in the Observation column--if you got a photo then mark an X in that column. It's one or the other, so if you see one now, but photograph it later, then you can go back and change the X to the photo column.

I have been highlighting the rows I finish with different colors for which ones I have finished and which ones I just got observations for--whatever is easiest for you is probably the best way to go!

For the Bonus Items, these are photo only--so just seeing Jerry Liguori taking pictures won't count--you'll need a photo for the point. For the items marked as "Plus 1 for each photo" you can have multiple photos as long as they aren't from the same series taken of the same bird. So if you shoot 10 pictures at once of a gull eating a fish, you can only use 1 of that series. But if you shoot the same species eating another fish, or at a different time you can keep adding photos. These "Plus 1 for each photo" are a major way to tack on points and build up your score.

I had a couple folks ask about where they put their pictures. As per the rules (http://utahbirders.com/2014) you need to have a Flickr Account, and be a member of the Utah Birder Flickr Pool. Create a "set" called 2014 Utah Birders Challenge, and any photos you want to use, just make sure you add them to that set, as well as the Utah Birders Flicker Pool group. If you don't have a Flickr Account, it is free to setup, and can be done with a Yahoo, Gmail, or Facebook login so it's easy to remember. Just go to Flickr.com to learn more. If you have any questions or need some help, don't hesitate to ask, and I will try to help you out. This is very easy to setup and will help keep track of everyone's photos in one spot.

And that's really it--periodically we might add in some bonus points during events, etc, and will directly email you to let you know--we are also going to add a bonus point section for carpooling--we are just working out the details today and will have that added shortly.

If you have any question, don't hesitate to shoot me an email. If you are having any issues with the spreadsheet, or Flickr/our pool, etc.

January 29, 2014 at 7:52 AM  

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