With less than two months to go, the 4th annual Vermont County eBird Quest is heating up. Western rivals Addison and Chittenden counties are knotted at 243 species each. And eastern rivals Windham and Windsor counties are neck and neck. Windham leads by just one species at 211.
But the race doesn’t end there. Incredibly, we have over 25 Vermont eBirders that have surpassed 200 species seen in Vermont this year. Within counties there are many races that are leading to personal bests. In Windsor county, for example, Ed Hack has already passed the county record and is poised to cross the 200 bird threshold. He’s followed closely by Kyle Jones at 198 species.
Part discovery, part conservation, but mostly fun, this annual year-long bird quest gives us all a welcome excuse to head outdoors and go birding. From the common to the rare, a diverse and fascinating array of birds resides in or passes through Vermont each year. Each county seeks to document that diversity, with the added incentive of vying for top honors of the maximum species count. Vermont eBird provides the scoreboard.
Even if you are not vying for some top honors, there’s always the County 150 Club. Each person that records 150 or more birds in one year in a county is added to this honor roll. Check your tally on the Vermont eBird Top 100 and change the region to your county of interest.
Even if you are not the competitive type, we hope you’ll add your bird sightings to Vermont eBird. After all, it’s really about celebrating and conserving our favorite feathered friends. A real-time, online checklist program, Vermont eBird has revolutionized the way that the birding community reports and accesses information about birds. eBird provides rich data sources for basic information on bird abundance and distribution making it a perfect tool for the County Bird Quest and you.
LOOKING FOR A BIRD WALK NEAR YOU?
The main idea behind the Quest is to get people out birding, promote camaraderie, and better document Vermont’s bird life. We encourage each county that participates to organize periodic outings for the birding-interested public.
We’ve listed all of the monthly Vermont eBird monitoring walks that take place around the state. Check them out and see when one is taking place near you.