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Welcome to the 2013 Daily Kos Backyard Science Yardbird Race! This is our second tally diary of the year, where you can post your sightings, compare notes, and brag a bit if you wish. As always, please let me know in the comments if I missed you last time or need to make any corrections.

We're just getting started, so it's definitely not too late to join the race. 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 yards.

We've set up categories so racers living in urban centers aren't competing against the lucky ones who have a waterfront view. Until now, the categories have been as follows:
       ~Urban apartment or condo
        ~Urban attached (townhouse, rowhouse)
        ~Urban detached
        ~Rural <5 acres
        ~Rural >5 acres
        ~Waterfront (trumps any of the above...)
By request, we're adding a new category to the race: Classroom Project. This category is for K-12 teachers and their students who wish to compete as a group. Classroom Project racers can list the birds that they see or hear from any place on their school grounds. We'll let the first group of racers identify themselves in the comments, and hope that others join in too. Welcome all!

As always, the details and some fine print (always the fine print) can be found under the orange bird poop way below.


Here we go -

We're in the deep of winter and have 15 racers competing in 7 categories. Three categories have multiple contestants and the others each have a single racer. For fun, we're going to note last year's racers' final 2012 counts in parentheses after their names. They'll be competing against themselves this year, too.


1. most awesome nana ... NE PA ... 13
2. cany ... Orange County CA ... 12                                  
3 (tie). oceandiver ... Lopez IS WA ... 6
3 (tie). PHScott (32) ... west of Tallahassee FL ... 6

most awesome nana is new to the race this year and looks to be a strong contender. However, cany, another new racer, is right on her heels as the race begins. A third newcomer, oceandiver, and veteran PHScott are facing off from locations across the country and have started the year's race in a tie. These four are competing from all corners of the country, yet each has an American Crow on their first tally.



1. chantedor (40) ... Paradise CA... 5
2. enhydra lutris (40) ... Castro Valley NOCA ... 4
3. jim in IA (45) ... eastern IA ... 3
4. jhop7... no location yet ... no birds yet, but maybe today?

It's close in suburbia so far, with two Californians, chantedor and enhyda lutris, and one midwesterner, jim in IA, each offering their first list. jhop7 has promised to return with a first tally this time. No crows so far in the suburban race and no birds common to all three lists, though new racer chantedor may be the first 2013 racer to list two species of Towhee, California and Spotted.



1. polly syllabic (100) ... Gooseville WI ... 23
2. milly watt (67) ... Olympic Peninsula WA ... 11
3. matching mole (78) ... Tallahassee FL ... 3

Once again, polly syllabic, the Grand Bragging Rights Winner of 2012, has jumped into a commanding lead here. Must be something she puts in her feeders. However, note that both milly watt and matching mole gave her a run last year, so these first number may not mean much. Only one crow has shown up at the waterfront locations, up in polly's territory, and again, no bird is common to all three lists so far. Play nice, you all.


And here are the single entry categories. Can we each get some competition, pretty please?

1. burnt out (73)... middle MO ... 18

1. bwren (50)... Seattle WA ... 11

1. lineatus ... San Francisco CA ... 2

1. aaroninsandiego ... San Diego CA ... 1

aaroninsandiego is another new racer this year and we welcome lineatus, who didn't finish last year, back for a second go. Good luck, both of you! There are no birds common to these four lists, but Dark-eyed Juncos showed up on three - from lineatus, burnt out and bwren. aaroninsandiego and bwren each reported another crow.


Those of you who followed the 2012 race may have noticed the ongoing good natured taunting among burnt out, matching mole and pollysyllabic. We suspect that they'll carry on in the same polite and self-effacing manner again this year.


Tally Updates
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.
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.

The second tally of the 2013 Backyard Science Yardbird Race is now open!


I'll be in until about noon PST, but must leave for the rest of the day. I'll check back on Monday to comment and record the tallies that come in after I'm away.

Details and the fine print.

You'll be listing the number of bird species that you find from the confines of your yard between January 1 and December 31, 2013.  You can list a bird if you see or hear it while you are somewhere in your yard. If you live in an apartment or condo building your "yard" includes the property on which the building is located. Note that a "yard" includes your living quarters. So, you can list the owl that wakes you at 2am, but you can't list the Flamingo 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 "feral 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:
           ~Classroom Project
            ~Urban apartment or condo
            ~Urban attached (townhouse, rowhouse)
            ~Urban detached
            ~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 28 different kinds of hummingbird from your location somewhere in the middle of Missouri.

Originally posted to Backyard Science on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 08:00 AM PST.

Also republished by Birds and Birdwatching.


Which bird will be the most commonly listed in this year's Yardbird Race?

36%7 votes
5%1 votes
0%0 votes
10%2 votes
15%3 votes
26%5 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
5%1 votes

| 19 votes | Vote | Results

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