CNC’s “Safe-at-Home Youth Birding Competition” aims to give youth a FREE, fun opportunity to spend time outdoors, observe birds near their homes, enjoy spring, and win prizes!
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Teams of 1-5 participants are encouraged to count all bird species seen and heard within sight of their roof top between sunrise of May 30 and sunset of May 31. Teams can be siblings in one household, or youth who coordinate their species list electronically with friends in another house to create one team. Team age-groups are 10 & under, 11-15 years, and 16-18 years.
While our competition usually takes place locally, youth may participate in the competition if they live, and count birds, outside the Hastings area. If you have a friend or family member in Florida who would like to join your team, all are welcome!
A detailed rules list may be found by clicking here.
WHAT AM I LOOKING FOR?
To encourage amateur birders, we are providing checklists of commonly-spotted local birds, which you can access and download by clicking the following links.
Click here to access Minnesota Ornithologist Union’s (MOU’s) Birds of MN Checklist
Click here to access the Hastings Area Birding Festival Official Checklist
In years past, teams have spotted up to 100 different species of birds during our Youth Birding Competitions. With the addition of team members outside the Hastings area, we expect this month’s list to showcase a huge range of species! If your count location is outside our local area, you may have luck checking with your local birdwatching organization or department of natural resources. If you are having difficulty finding a check list, please contact Jennifer@CarpenterNatureCenter.org and we’ll see what we can do to find you a good species list for your area.
HOW DO I GET MY PRIZE?
All youth in the first 50 teams to register AND submit a completed bird check list by the next morning (June 1, 2020 at 10 a.m.) will win prizes, whether they observe 1 species, or 100+ species. Participants are encouraged to collect their prizes at CNC after the competition. Staff can also mail prizes to participants, however the winner’s guardians will need to pay for the shipping costs by credit card.
Prizes currently include bird feeders, bird feeding supplies, bird houses, binoculars, bird-friendly yard guides, etc. Our hope is that if more than 50 teams register, we will be able to recruit additional prizes to award. If you want to donate additional prizes, creative ideas are welcomed and could include gift cards to bird stores, gift certificates for treats for young birders like ice cream, bird coloring books, etc., anything that youth nature enthusiast might enjoy.
HOW DO I SIGN UP?
The online competition is FREE to all participants. Please call Carpenter Nature Center at (651)-437-4359 or email Jennifer@CarpenterNatureCenter.org with your team name, team location(s), age bracket, and number of team members. Please include an adult guardian’s contact information for coordinating prize distribution.
Please feel free to contact Jennifer@CarpenterNatureCenter.org with any additional questions not answered on this page.
We will also be updating our website throughout the competition to include answers to any other Frequently Asked Questions. Please feel free to share this page with any interested potential participants. All skill levels are welcome!
HOW DO I SUBMIT MY FINAL LIST?
When you’re done, simply submit your final list to Jennifer@CarpenterNatureCenter.org. You can use one of the “official” checklists above, you can write it out on a sheet of paper, you can use an spreadsheet on your computer– whatever is easiest for you!
Please try to submit before the deadline of 10:00 AM on Monday, June 1st. You can email it as an image attachment, type it out, send an Excel sheet, attach it to carrier pigeon (just kidding). What’s most important to us is that you play and HAVE FUN!
HOW MANY TEAMS ARE PARTICIPATING, AND WHERE ARE THEY FROM?
As of 5/23/2020 at 2:00pm, there are 2 teams registered and counting!
One of the most entertaining aspects of managing the registration has been reading the creative team names!
1. The Tweet Hearts- Cottage Grove, MN, Hastings, MN, & Jacksonville, FL
2. The Millennium Falcons- Missouri