The World Series of Birding results finally came out, and my favorite team, the Meadowlands Marsh Hawks, took a close second to a team from Passaic County. The Marsh Hawks probably would have won or tied if they had been able to tally an American Crow or a RT Hummingbird.
Thus the vagaries of competitive birding.
Here are the results from NJ Audubon:
Congratulations to all New Jersey Audubon World Series of Birding Teams!
The 35th Anniversary of this event was spectacular, despite rain in the north and rain in the south of New Jersey, there were windows of time for birding, and some teams had their highest scores ever!
Spring bird migration was in full force throughout the state; there were birds everywhere, as long as one had proper rain gear in order to hear or see them.
The Zeiss Youth Category stole the day, with high school and middle school teams scoring bird sightings far higher than the adults on the same endeavor. While the Urner Stone Cup was awarded to long-time participants, 1000Birds in the adult category, with 159 birds, the high school youth team, the YMOS Marsh Gigglers racked up 199 species in their seventh year of competition, to win the Pete Dunne Future Leaders Award. Their would-be competitors, also friends, the YMOS Mighty Merlins were just one bird behind their compadres.
The Limited Geographic Area (ie. LGA, restricted to one county in NJ) was especially competitive this year, with 9 teams in the running. The Expendabblers took first place with 87% of par for Passiac County, followed by the Meadowlands Marsh Hawks, with 86% of par in Bergen County.
The Big Stay, a category in which a team must ID birds while staying within a 17’ radius for the duration, was won by the NJ Avian Migration Project, who were perched on a platform at Sandy Hook, unless/until they were forced to seek refuge under tarps beneath the platform during the rain. They persevered and scored 120 bird species.
The Cape May County Cup went to SPNI (Society to Protect Nature in Israel), with 180 species. And the Cape Island Cup, for those birding on the island below the Canal, went to team Zen Zugunruhe, with 149 species. Three adult teams competed for the Swarovski Optik Carbon Footprint Cup, for teams competing on foot/bicycle/kayak. Competitors worked hard on Cape Island as well as in northern New Jersey. The category was won by The Monarchists, who stayed south of the Cape May canal, with 139 species. The youth version, Carbon Free Kids (sponsored by Carl Zeiss Sports Optics), was won by the Eaglets, sponsored by the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center, with 115 species, also focusing on Cape Island.
Special thanks to the 26 teams raising money for New Jersey Audubon, especially our “Century Runs” (so named for their goal of at least 100 species), from Scherman Hoffman, Sandy Hook and Cape May Bird Observatory!!!
Total state-wide cumulative list for the 2018 World Series of Birding: 255 species.