The Toledo Naturalists' Association will host the 24th annual North Coast
Open birding competition this year on May 18 and 19. The competition
covers Lucas, Wood, Ottawa, Sandusky, and Erie Counties, which collectively
have many of the top birding sites in the state: the Oak Openings, Magee
Marsh, Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, Metzger Marsh, Maumee Bay State
Park, Pickerel Creek, Pipe Creek, and Sheldon Marsh, among many others.
If you're looking for a cure for the Biggest Week hangover/withdrawal, or
just need another excuse to get back out to the lakeshore in May, this is
it! Breeders should all be back on territory, migrants should still be
plentiful, and this is prime time for goodies like Connecticut Warbler and
Olive-sided Flycatcher. Last year's winners -- "No Sleep 'Til Packos" --
came in with 150 species on a blustery day. The all-time record of 179
species was set by the "Rudderless Turnstones" in 2010; it is high time
this record was bested.
Teams compete in a variety of divisions: Junior, Senior, Open, Freestyle
(ideal for families with little kids), and Human-Powered. The overall
winner is awarded the prestigious Peregrine Cup. The competition runs from
7pm Friday May 18 to 7pm Saturday May 19. Bird all night or grab a few
hours of sleep before the dawn chorus hits. Teams must turn in their lists
at the finish line at 7pm on Saturday, which this year is at Tony Packo's
in East Toledo.
See the TNA website (http://www.toledonaturalist.
org/?event=north-coast-open&event_date=2018-05-18) for rules and
registration. Note that the rules vary slightly from traditional ABA Big
Day rules (e.g., everyone on the team must see/hear every bird; no
broadcast of tapes/recordings). There is no fee to participate.
Feel free to email me with any questions.
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