COA’s Big January: prizes galore!!

Many Connecticut birders will know that the Connecticut Ornithological Association has a long history of running a friendly competition every January, in which birders seek to find as many species as possible before the month ends. This year, the COA has changed the competition to encourage participation in the atlas. And to raise the stakes there are some seriously impressive prizes available.

Rather than trying to see as many species as possible, the goal will be to conduct as many timed one-hour surveys in atlas blocks for which we have little data for the late winter (Jan-Feb) period.  Dave Provencher – who serves on the COA Board and is the atlas regional coordinator for southeastern Connecticut – posted full details, including rules and information about prizes on the CTbirds listserv earlier today.

The map below shows which atlas blocks are “in play”:

Blocks marked with a blue dot are the atlas team’s highest priority and are worth 2 points; those marked with a red dot are worth 1 point. Data submissions from  other blocks are also welcome, but do not score points. (Click here for a higher resolution version of the map.)

Data should be submitted via the usual routes – eBird checklists can be shared with “ctbirdatlas” or the data sheet from the atlas web site can be used and sent via email or USPS (address details for both options are on the data sheet). All data must be received by February 10th to count towards the competition.

For a refresher on how to do the timed one-hour surveys, check out the instructions here.

Finally, the atlas team would like to reiterate our thanks to the COA board for thinking up this game, to an extremely generous donor for providing fabulous prizes, and especially to Dave for working out all the details.