Monday, April 30, 2007

Birding competition, day two

The Lightning Eagles team saw a total of 80 different kinds of birds! Impressive. They saw a few that Gillen and I had been wanting to see for a while and he finally did - Painted Buntings, a Blue Grosbeak,a Rose Breasted Grosbeak, Indigo buntings... I missed all of that but did join them when they came back to the area for the end of the competition and the reception. Here are a few pictures:

Above, Gillen and Evan are looking at the final chart of all the birds that were seen by any birder during the competition.
There were over 120 participants. Last year (the first year) there were around 60. I am glad that there are so many other kids who share Gillen's passion. Jesse has become a birder. He remembered the sounds of several birds they'd learned a few weeks ago and helped the team that way. Todd loved when Jesse identified the "Louisiana TRASH bird".

I had thought that Gillen and Jesse didn't care so much about winning. Well, when it came down to it, of course, he did. Only way we could have competed was to go to the coast or the mountains to get more breeds. The winning team in their age group had a total of 120 birds! They had done a LOT of preparation and had driven many miles this weekend. Turns out they were hschoolers as well (as were a few other teams). For now, Gillen and Jesse think they want to approach this more seriously next year. The winners get $500 binoculars and they really want them. I think they can do it.

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