Register for New Jersey Audubon’s World Series of Birding

Apr 04, 2018
Photo by: Ryan Morrill Even something as common as a mockingbird counts towards your total.

It’s not too late to register a team for the 2018 New Jersey Audubon’s World Series of Birding, but the deadline is coming soon – April 20.

This is the 35th year of the World Series of Birding, held rain or shine on May 12 in which teams of birders scour the state to see, hear and list the highest number of species of birds within the state or within a specified area. It’s a friendly competition that raises money for New Jersey Audubon or for the conservation group or environmental cause of the team’s own choosing.

It’s a 24-hour treasure hunt to tally the highest number of bird species and also raise awareness of the treasure New Jersey’s habitats offer migrating birds. Teams can be as small as three participants or as big as the outdoors.

There are four levels of teams available; go to the website for all rules and regulations and to register a team. The levels are Bird Conservation, for competing teams that vie for a number of trophies; New Jersey Audubon Ambassador, for non-competing teams; Senior Challenge, for ages 60 and older; and the Zeiss Youth Challenge, for ages 6 to 18.

Within each group are categories for the most species seen in the state, or the Big Stay Award – for the most species seen in a specified area such as a county, town or wildlife reserve. The Swarovski Zero Carbon Footprint challenge is for teams that want to bird without the use of a motorized vehicle – by foot, bicycle or kayak.

This year as in last, a specialized WSB phone app is available to register bird species sightings, and there are a slew of rules and practices to abide by so as to not stress birds, particularly rare birds or those that are nesting.

According to the N.J. Audubon’s WBS website: “No matter what the final tally, everyone wins, nobody loses and you’ve helped the environment.”

As of Tuesday, April 3, there are 39 teams registered; teams with names like the “Ruddy or Knot” team, the “YMO We Spotted Sandpiper” and the “MCAS Cheep Trills” team. Registering a team costs money ($1,000 for the Bird Conservation Level, $45 per person for the Senior Level and $15 for the youth level), and corporate sponsorships are encouraged.

So far $61,881 has been raised, but the goal of raising $200,000 for conservation and environmental causes is still far away.

— Pat Johnson

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