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Hartford County – 2021 Big January of Birding!

Friday, January 1 - Sunday, January 31

January is upon us – time to get birding for real!

The Hartford Audubon Society (HAS) is pleased to announce our fifth annual Hartford County Big January of Birding birdwatching challenge.  Especially in this time of COVID-19 social isolation, birdwatching can bring tremendous joy.  The purpose of the activity is to encourage folks to get outside during the month of January and see as many species of wild birds in Hartford County as possible.  The competition is free to people of all ages.   You do not need to be an HAS member or reside in Hartford County to enter.

To participate, birders should enter their daily or periodic observations onto ebird.org, the free birdwatching site maintained by the Cornell University Lab of Ornithology. At the end of the month, Hartford Audubon will retrieve all the data and award prizes.

If you don’t use eBird, you can list your species, date seen, location, and brief description, and send it via email or mail right at the end of January; it must be received by Friday, February 5th.

There are four categories for awards:

  • Youth (ages 4-10) who must see at least 25 species to enter
  • Teen (ages 11-17) who must see at least 35 species to enter
  • Weekend Warrior (adults ages 18 and up who can’t get outdoors during the week) who must see at least 50 species to enter
  • Adults (ages 18 and up who can get outdoors during the week) who must see at least 60 species to enter.

All entries that meet the minimum number of species for each challenge group will receive a certificate of achievement.  A special prize will be awarded for the highest species count for each challenge group, and the coveted “Golden Grebe” award will be given to the birder finding the most unusual bird.

Thus far, with winter barely starting, we’ve already seen an irruption of Red-Breasted Nuthatch and winter finches.  January, 2021 may be a very interesting month and a joyful way to enter the new year.

Note that the CT Ornithological Association also is holding its Connecticut Big January challenge, which is focusing this year not on getting a high species count but rather on doing surveys for the Connecticut Bird Atlas Project.  Go to www.ctbirding.org/ for more information.  You can enter both contests with birds seen in Hartford County.  Let’s get out there, folks!

COVID-19 Reminder: Participants are cautioned to follow COVID-19 protocols while birding.  Wear masks that cover your nose when near others; socially distance at least 6’ from others and more distance when walking; bird only with others in your immediate family or in very small groups; and wash your hands as frequently as possible.  Please be considerate of others and give a wide berth to others on trails. 

Details

Start:
Friday, January 1
End:
Sunday, January 31
Field Trips / Events Categories:
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