Anchorage Big Day

Suffering from the mid-winters “blahs” that didn’t quite get corrected with your annual sojourn to the Hawaiian Islands in January?

Are you still trying to work off some of those Christmas cookies that your mom sent to you in DECEMBER – nearly 3 months ago?

Perhaps you just can’t wait anymore for summer?

If any (or all those) are true than you are “ripe” for participating in the annual Anchorage Big Day!

What the heck is the annual Anchorage Big Day Event?


The annual Anchorage Big Day event is a better way to celebrate the coming of Spring (or said another way, the ending of winter!) by scouring the Anchorage Municipality for birds. From Eklutna to Portage–How many species can your team find in 24 hours from 5:00 PM on Friday March 18, 2016 until 5:00 PM on Saturday March 19, 2016?

It’s a Big Day to usher in Spring. Who knows what will turn up? It’s simple: Get a team together and go birding. All team members must see all birds counted by the team. (some exceptions apply for larger teams.)

Bird as much or as little of the 24 hours as you like. See them, hear them, and write them down.
Just register your team in advance by emailing flybynightclub@gci.net 

Send a donation to Anchorage Audubon ($5 per person with a maximum of $20 for the whole team) at PO Box 101161, Anchorage, AK  99510-1161.  Email your results to the same email address at the end of the day.

And there is always a CASH PRIZE!!!

One Dollar per species will be awarded to the winning team!  Imagine making money by going birding!   The winners could make as much as a whopping $35 or $40 for only 24 hours work. That’s $1.67 per hour which is more than most birders earn in a lifetime! There’s no better way to welcome Spring!


The Anchorage Big Day Wrap-up!

The Anchorage Big Day Wrap-up!

another Audubon Cutthroat Competition!!

 

It was not only a Big Day, it was a Ginormous Day!
 
Last weekend eight teams and twenty intrepid birders faced off in a contest to see which team could find the most bird species within the Municipality of Anchorage on approximately the First Day Of Spring. And nothing went as expected!
 

There was a team comprised of birders from Spenard AND from Muldoon, which proves that people from widely different cultures can, in fact, get along with each other. There was an Immigrant Team where local birders welcomed a visitor from Colorado to join them, and they weren’t the least bit afraid that he would steal their jobs.

 

All together the teams tallied FORTY-SIX different species, but the winners found only 31 of them. This was an all-time low percentage of 67% of the total species seen by the winning team.

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Annual Event – March 23-24, 2018

The Big Anchorage Birding Day

Celebrate the First Day of Spring with

another Audubon Cutthroat Competition!!

Believe it or not, Spring is on the way, and what better way to celebrate than by scouring the Anchorage Municipality for birds.

From Eklutna to Portage–How many species can your team find in 24 hours from 5:00 PM on Friday March 23, 2017 until 5:00 PM on Saturday March 24, 2018.
Read the rest

The Anchorage Big Day Wrap-up!

The Anchorage Big Day Wrap-up!

another Audubon Cutthroat Competition!!

 

It was a Cutthroat Birdwatching Competition at it’s finest that combined no sleep with in-your-face attitude and Margaritas! It was the First Day of Spring Anchorage Big Day.

TEN teams squared off to see who could find the most avian species in the 24 hours between 5:00 PM on Friday and 5:00 PM on Saturday.
Read the rest

Annual Event – March 24-25, 2017

The Big Anchorage Birding Day

Celebrate the First Day of Spring with

another Audubon Cutthroat Competition!!

Believe it or not, Spring is on the way, and what better way to celebrate than by scouring the Anchorage Municipality for birds.

From Eklutna to Portage–How many species can your team find in 24 hours from 5:00 PM on Friday March 24, 2017 until 5:00 PM on Saturday March 25, 2017.
Read the rest

The Big Anchorage Birding Day Results – March, 2016


Saturday – March 20, 2016

The First Day of Spring was Celebrated!

We Came, We Saw, We Birded!

The Big Anchorage Birding Day Results

Another Audubon Cutthroat Competition Entered into the Annals of History!!

What A Day!
…and that’s what we’d expect for a Big Anchorage Day.  Six teams squared off to find the most bird species in Anchorage during 24 hours on the First Day of Spring.  And only in Anchorage would this gargantuan effort be accompanied by an all-time record snowfall with near white-out conditions.  It was birding drama at it’s finest.
2016-anc-big-day-1
Two teams started Friday at 5:00pm in Girdwood where it was spitting light snow.  The birding was tough and slow—even the regular Girdwood birds, such as the Chestnut-backed Chickadee, were absent or extremely difficult.  The teams’ efforts continued after dark with no success at owling.
Another team took the opposite approach and started in Anchorage on Friday evening to moderate success.  They hit the road before 6:00 am on Saturday and headed to Girdwood in near blizzard conditions, and again, birding was brutal.
Saturday in Anchorage was also merciless, and the results showed it very clearly.  Last year, two teams tied with 37 species found.  This year, the winning team of Thede Tobish, Nils Warnock, and W. Keys found only 31.  All credit was given to Thede and Nils when Keys said, They found everything.  All I did was hand them scones and try to keep the car out of 20-car pile-ups.”
2016-anc-big-day-2
At the final Tally, it was revealed that 9 species were seen that were NOT seen last year:  Canada Goose, Barrow’s Goldeneye, Red-breasted Merganser,  Eurasian Collared Dove, Northern Hawk Owl, Short-eared Owl, Sharp-shinned hawk, Northern Shrike, and Hoary Redpoll.
In addition, FIFTEEN species were seen last year and were not seen this year:  Green-winged Teal, Willow Ptarmigan, Herring Gull, Glaucous-winged Gull,  Boreal Owl,  3-Toed Woodpecker,  Merlin, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Chipping Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Golden-crowned Sparrow, Purple Finch,  Cassins’ Finch, White-winged Crossbill, and Pine Siskin.  
Ten species were seen by only one team, and possibly the two best finds of the day were found by the team which logged the lowest total number of species.  Daria and Arlene spotted both the Eurasian Collared Dove and a WOLVERINE near Potter Marsh!  Whoa!
Once again, the ruling principle of the day was, “You have to be in the right place at the right time.”  This was drilled in by The Finely Feathered Fairbankians.  Their team and the winning team were together on the Point Woronzof Road looking successfully at the Northern Hawk Owl and looking expectantly for the reported Short-eared Owl.  The cars were side-by-side and the winning team headed down the road at the exact moment that the Fairbanksians spotted the Short-eared flying down the runway a short distance away.  Later in the day, The Fairbanksians said, It was totally great that we were both right there when the Short-eared flew right by us.”  And the Winning Team replied, “Huh?  What do you mean?”

THAT’S birding at it’s finest.  

The Big Anchorage Birding Day – March, 2016

Saturday – March 18-19, 2016

Celebrate the First Day of Spring with

The Big Anchorage Birding Day

Another Audubon Cutthroat Competition!!

Next week it’ll be Spring, and what better way to celebrate than by scouring the Anchorage Municipality for birds. From Eklutna to Portage–How many species can your team find in 24 hours from 5:00 PM on Friday March 18, 2016 until 5:00 PM on Saturday March 19, 2016?

Read the rest

The Big Anchorage Birding Day Results – March, 2015


Saturday – March 21, 2015

The First Day of Spring was Celebrated!

We Came, We Saw, We Birded!

The Big Anchorage Birding Day Results

Another Audubon Cutthroat Competition Entered into the Annals of History!!

Holy Moly! What a Big Day!

The tallies were remarkably similar, and here are the results: The $37.00 prize for 37 species is a tie between Kenna Sue, Karen, Lynn, & Louann and the Thede/Nils/Keys/Rick team. They each will take home $4.62 which comes out to a whopping $.23 per hour (based on the hours the Ladies’ Team put in.

Trapper Dan came in with ONE LESS! species at 36.

Aaron and Enric followed with 34.

Keith and Tyler came in with 26 species.

Overall, 43 species were seen.

25 Species were seen by every team.

4 species were seen by only one team: The Ladies team had a Saw-whet Owl and Thede/Nils/Keys/Rick found Merlin, Glaucous-winged Gull, and Golden-crowned Sparrow.

Six species were only seen by two teams: Barrow’s Goldeneye, Willow Ptarmigan, 3-toed Woodpecker, Gray Jay, Brown Creeper, and the Chipping Sparrow.

It was a brutal day. Kenna Sue says she quit at 11:59. I wimped out, called it quits at 11:50, and headed home. Owling did not work out for me. Shortly after 8:00, I drove 35 miles to my personal hotspot of the Eklutna Lake Road. I drove 10 miles up and 10 miles back stopping every quarter mile to listen and sometimes play calls. After 18 miles and only 2 miles up from the start of the road, I heard ONE Boreal Owl.

Getting back to town at 11:00, I figured I might as well head up to Potter Valley Road and the back side of the marsh and got Zippo.

In contrast, Kenna Sue reports that they started at 4:30 and the first bird was a Saw-Whet Owl on Lynn’s porch! Some guys have all the luck.

Aaron ran into everyone else during the day. Our team saw everyone except Keith and Tyler. I’ll send some photos Rick took during the day including the group shot when everyone except Keith and Tyler were at the Finch Spot.

My personal highlight of the day took place on Government Hill. Thede and Rick had real stuff to do and had left the chase to Nils and Myself, and we couldn’t find a Starling to save our lives. We ran into Aaron and Enric, and Enric said “There’s nothing here but that tree full of a boatload of Starlings.”

Nils and I nodded and shrugged in agreement while secretly saying, “Yippee!! Whoopee!! We just got another species and they have no idea that we’re so lame we didn’t even see a tree with over 100 Starlings that’s only 50 feet away!!”

Thanks to all for a fabulous day!

The Big Anchorage Birding Day – March, 2015


Saturday – March 21, 2015

Celebrate the First Day of Spring with

The Big Anchorage Birding Day

Another Audubon Cutthroat Competition!!

Next week it’ll be Spring, and what better way to celebrate than by scouring the Anchorage Municipality for birds. From Eklutna to Portage–How many species can your team find in 24 hours from 12:01 am until the following midnight?

It’s a Big Day to usher in Spring. Who knows what will turn up? It’s simple: Get a team together and go birding. All team members must see all birds counted by the team. (some exceptions apply for larger teams.)

Bird as much or as little of the 24 hours as you like. See them, hear them, and write them down.
Just register your team in advance by emailing flybynightclub@gci.net 

Send a donation to Anchorage Audubon ($5 per person with a maximum of $20 for the whole team) at PO Box 101161, Anchorage, AK  99510-1161.  Email your results to the same email address at the end of the day.

And there will be a CASH PRIZE!!!

One Dollar per species will be awarded to the winning team!  Imagine making money by going birding!   The winners could make as much as a whopping $35 or $40 for only 24 hours work. That’s $1.67 per hour which is more than most birders earn in a lifetime! There’s no better way to welcome Spring!

Complete rules and detailed instructions are on our website at www.anchorageaudubon.org.

chipping sparrow

Can your team find this Chipping Sparrow?