Posted by Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism on Jan15, 2015


The annual birding competition sports big results, big-name prizes

PRATT – You may not consider yourself a “birder,” but if you’ve ever watched a hummingbird sip at a feeder, took note of a flock of geese up high, or watched a robin build a nest in your front yard – you’re a birder. And if you can find a way to positively identify each species you spot this year, you just might win the 2015 Kansas Birding “Big Year” competition running Jan.1-Dec. 31.

Hosted annually by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT), the Big Year is an informal competition where birders compete to see who can observe the most bird species in Kansas in one calendar year. Participants can compete in one of three categories: novice, intermediate, and advanced. Winners of each category will receive prizes to be awarded January 2016. Prizes this year were donated from Acorn Naturalists, Bass Pro Shops, Bushnell, Coleman, and other sponsors.

Participants are encouraged to carry a pocket-sized notebook and pencil to record their findings. Jotting down information such as size, color, sounds, and surrounding habitat, followed by a quick thumbnail sketch of the bird can prove to be very helpful for beginners.

Participants are asked to log their findings into the online service, eBird, available through the Cornell University web site, The data collected is used to aide researchers in the study of species abundance, species range, and time spent in the field by observers, and more.

For more information on the 2015 Kansas Birding Big Year, or to register, visit, or email Mike Rader at [email protected].