PRATT – The 2023 Kansas Birding Big Year Contest, hosted by the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP), is officially underway! Participation is simple; record the number of unique bird species you see in Kansas from Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 2023 and submit your findings. You just might end up a 2023 Kansas Birding Big Year winner!
Participants of all skill levels are invited to compete in one of three age groups: Youth (age 17 and younger), adult (ages 18-64), or senior (age 65 and older). The winners from each category will receive prizes to be awarded in January 2024.
- Participants must register online at ksoutdoors.com/Services/
Wildlife-Diversity/2023- Kansas-Birding-Big-Year on or before April 1 to participate in the 2023 contest.
- Participants must read and abide by the set of rules governing the competition. These rules are adapted from the American Birding Association Recording Rules and Interpretations and include the Code of Birding Ethics. Breaking, or disregard for, these rules will result in disqualification.
- Participants must log their data into the online service, eBird, available on the Cornell University website, ebird.org. Each participant must create an individual profile, sign-in and password to begin submitting sightings.
- Participants must submit a running total list of observed species quarterly to the program coordinator to track progress and provide quality control. The program coordinator and competition committee have final say on list totals. Quarterly submission dates for the 2023 contest are: June 30, September 30 and December 31.
Winners will be recognized, and prizes awarded, in mid-January of the following calendar year. Award categories are as follows: Youth, Adult Novice, Adult Intermediate, Adult Advanced, and Senior.
The 2022 Kansas Birding Big Year Contest wrapped up in December 2022, with youth participant Franklin Miller claiming the title of “Kansas’ Top Birder” after identifying 322 unique bird species in the state last year.
The top winners from 2022 in each category are listed below.
- Malcolm Gold – 315*
- Mark Nolen – 304*
- Jeff Calhoun – 250*
- Dan Broers – 246
- Chad Gardner – 228
- Seth Miller – 290*
- Juan Avena – 275*
- Corey Entriken – 267*
- Melissa Bruce – 265*
- Kelli Egbert – 219
- Ann Tanner – 183
- Krystal Sarcone – 83
- Timothy Tarkelly – 79
- Franklin Miller – 322*
- Hezekiah Swihart – 192
- Michaela Gold – 166
- Danielle Gold – 143
- Henry Armknecht – 289*
- Sue Newland – 270*
- Dan Larson – 215
- Marie Plinsky – 206
- William Simon – 140
An asterisk (*) denotes a Top 10 Overall score.
Sponsors of the 2022 Kansas Big Birding Year contest include: City of Great Bend Convention and Visitors Bureau, The Kansas Wetlands Education Center, Acorn Naturalists, The Kansas Ornithological Society, Dr. Robert Penner, and KDWP.
For more on the Kansas Birding Big Year, visit ksoutdoors.com/services/