Welcome to the 2012 Daily Kos Backyard Science Yardbird Race! This is the fifth tally diary, where you can post your sightings, compare notes and/or brag some. Please tell me if I've missed you. It wasn't intentional, honest.
Here's what you need to know:
The Daily Kos Backyard Science Yardbird Race is a birding competition where, over the course of one year, participants strive to identify the most bird species - by sight and/or by sound - from the confines of their yard. More details and some fine print can be found at the end of this post.It's never too late to join the race! burnt out and political mutt joined in during the last tally, bringing the field up to 19 racers. We're still looking for racers who might want to compete in the Apartment/Condo category.
So, here's where the race stood as of April Fool's Day.
Starting again in the SUBURBAN category we have enhydra lutris and jim in IA in a close race, with enhydra lutris leading jim in IA by just four species with a total of 30. Jim is located above the 40th parallel and in the middle of the country. Enhydra is below the 40th parallel and on the left hand coast. Who'll have the spring migration advantage?
Burnt out jumped in out of nowhere last month to take a commanding lead in the RURAL>5 ACRES category, and is starting this tally with 43 species. Janislav is behind right now with 23 species, but his location a little bit up the Mississippi may give him the migration advantage this month. Gentlemen - check in please.
PHScott has been alone in the RURAL< 5 ACRES category, happily counting up 28 species down on the lower right hand coast. It's been way too easy down there. Maybe a competitor will show up this month? And oh dear, the competition seems to have disappeared so my pathetic 27 species still puts me in the default lead in the URBAN DETACHED category. Come on! There's got to be some competition out there!
OK. Now to the most competitive category, WATERFRONT. When last we heard, matching mole was holding on to a 55 species lead with pollysyllabic in a close second with 52. Polly has continued to taunt from the northern reaches of the migration routes. Meanwhile, way to the northwest, millywatt quietly reported 38 species and political mutt made a respectable first and single day tally of 20 from the right hand coast. Game on everyone - show your hands!
Tally #5 is open.
Be kind to your record keeper. For ease of keeping track of everyone's lists, please post your tallies in the following manner.
Your location, as close as you are comfortable revealing.Details about the Yardbird Race and a bit of fine print can be found over the orangewash below.
Your yard category.
Number of species seen so far, including your other tallies if you have any.
List of birds seen, dated if you wish.
Any comments you have about your sightings.
Details and the fine print.All are welcome, even if you're new to backyard birding. We'll even help you with IDs. Good racing everyone!
You can list a bird if you see or hear it while you are somewhere in your yard. A "yard" includes your living quarters. So, you can list the Killdeer that wakes you at 2am, but you can't list the Herring Gull you see in your neighbor's side yard while driving home if you cannot see it from any place in your yard after you get out of your car. You can, however, walk around to your neighbor's side yard to visually ID a bird that you have heard from the confines of your own yard.
You may list domestic chickens, but only as the generic "domestic chicken". Feral parrots and budgies may also be listed, but only as the generic "parrot". Pet birds, other captive birds and birds kept for hunting don't count.
There are no rules about ladders and fences. With the exception of utilizing recorded bird calls, which is strongly discouraged, there are also no rules about making your yard more bird-attractive than the competition's.
Here are the yard categories.
~Urban apartment or condo
~Urban attached (townhouse, rowhouse)
~Rural <5 acres
~Rural >5 acres
~Waterfront (trumps any of the above...)
You're on the honor system here, though I suspect we'll figure it out if you list Rose-throated Becards and Green Kingfishers while claiming to live in somewhere north of the 40th parallel
The sixth tally is scheduled for June 2.