Birding Big Year Competition Begins Jan. 1

New Year’s resolutions often focus on inner change, but what about making a change this coming year that involves the outside? If resolving to learn something new, find a hobby, spend more time outdoors, or become more active is on your plate for 2016, consider entering in the 2016 Kansas Birding Big Year competition.

You may not consider yourself a “birder,” but if you’ve ever watched a hummingbird sip at a feeder, took note of a flock of geese up high, or watched a robin build a nest in your front yard – you’re a birder. And if you can find a way to positively identify each species you spot this year, you just might win the competition running Jan.1-Dec. 31.

Hosted annually by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism , the Big Year is an informal competition where birders compete to see who can observe the most bird species in Kansas in one calendar year. Participants can compete in one of three categories: novice, intermediate, and advanced. Winners of each category will receive prizes to be awarded January 2017.

Participants are encouraged to carry a pocket-sized notebook and pencil to record their findings. Jotting down information such as size, color, sounds, and surrounding habitat, followed by a quick thumbnail sketch of the bird can prove to be very helpful for beginners.

Participants are asked to log their findings into the online service, eBird, available through the Cornell University website, The data collected is used to aid researchers in the study of species abundance, species range, and more.

For more information on the 2016 Kansas Birding Big Year, or to register, visit, or email Mike Rader at [email protected].

Story from: the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism