Birding Competition – Final Results

Posted by Bob Lefebvre

After a year-long effort, the participants in eBird Calgary 2015 have entered their final checklists, and below we have the preliminary final results. I was quite impressed by how many Calgary-area birders made an effort to keep getting out all year long to find new birds. Twenty-six people reported over 200 species within the 80-km count circle during the year! Many of them had their highest total ever for the region.

Most impressive was the 275 species found by the overall winner, Brian Elder. As far as we have been able to determine, this is a new high total for the Calgary count circle, and ten species higher than the winning total in the 2005 competition. It looks like 301 species were reported in all within the circle in 2015. In 2014, there were eight fewer species reported in the circle, and the top individual total was Dan Arndt at 233.

Quite a few of the participants were new to using eBird. Most of them really took to it, finding it to be a valuable birding tool, which helps them to be more aware of the patterns of bird movements through the area, and enables them to quickly find out about sightings of unusual or target species. I sincerely hope that those who began using eBird in 2015 will continue to use it just as much in the future.

The Calgary county led all Alberta counties in species reported on eBird, as it usually does, but where we really stood out in 2015 was the number of checklists submitted:

All Alberta counties 2015

This kind of coverage on eBird really helps to make the data more valuable, so I hope we don’t see a drop in submissions in 2016.

The results below are not official. We will have the final results later this month. The prizes will be presented at the Birds & Beers meeting on Friday January 29th. This will be held at the Horton Road Legion, Centennial Calgary Branch #285, 9202 Horton Road SW. Everyone is welcome to come out and have a meal and a drink, after which we will present the prizes. In addition to prizes for the winners in the categories below, we will also have prizes for Big Day, Bird of the Year, and the Latecomer Challenge. Join us on January 29 for the final results.

Leaders, 80-km circle:

Here are the top competitors listed with their species totals and categories (the “Not Eligible” competitors are on the organizing committee). Also included is the number of complete checklists they have submitted to eBird within the 80-km circle. This total does not include “incidental” sightings.

Using the arrows you can sort the columns to see all the participants in one category listed together, or sort by number of species, or number of checklists. You can also increase or decrease the number of lines shown.

80-km Circle Leaders, December 31, 2015

Overall RankNameSpeciesChecklistsCategory
1Brian Elder275128Experienced
2tBlake Weis257638Experienced
2tRay Woods25782Experienced
4Daniel Arndt254265Not Eligible
5Aidan Vidal24082Youth
6tGeorge Best235232Experienced
6tDan Parliament235187Experienced
6tEthan Denton235180Youth
9Andrew Hart234252Not Eligible
10tJohn Thompson232285Experienced
10tCindy Parliament232143Experienced
10tNeil Denton232176Experienced
13tGraeme Mudd225204Beginner
13tChris Macintosh225103Beginner
13tAphtin Perratt225103Beginner
16tJohn Anderson220477Experienced
16tLorrie Anderson220474Experienced
18tAndrew Slater219158Not Eligible
18tRose Painter219309Not Eligible
20Bob Lefebvre214504Not Eligible
21Nicole Pellerin205164Beginner
22tLinda Vaxvick203272Experienced
22tJudy Swan203227Experienced
24tPhillip Cram20165Experienced
24tChristopher Naugler20174Experienced
26tTrevor Churchill195108Experienced
26tDarlene Shymkiw195137Beginner
28Bernard Tremblay19327Experienced
29John Bargman187131Experienced
30Janet Gill181105Experienced
31Peter Hoyer17573Experienced
32Simone Pellerin-Wood17393Youth
33Anne Belton171110Experienced
34tDave Russum170318Experienced
34tRob Worona17033Experienced
36Jan Roseneder153315Experienced
37Jeremy Quickfall15152Beginner
38Saravana Moorthy13376Beginner
39Joan Walker13114Not Eligible
40Sue Konopnicki12757Experienced
41Bernie Diebolt9424Experienced
42Rachel Mackay9228Beginner
43Michael Rogers7841Experienced
44tTony LePrieur7523Beginner
44tByron Chu7513Experienced
46Hannah Lilles615Youth
47Robin Naugler484Youth
48Brett Lybbert4612Beginner
49David Sim3422Experienced
50Lucianna Lybbert328Youth
51Jarom Lybbert3111Youth
52Katrina Lybbert309Experienced
53Gord Newel278Beginner
54Angela Bell2111Experienced
55Lynn Wilsack2011Beginner
56Reginald Lybbert121Youth
57David Archer112Beginner
58Sylvia Checkley40Beginner
59Jim Donohue10Experienced


Yard Challenge Update

Here are the leaders, showing the number of species identified in or from the competitor’s yards.

Yard Challenge Leaders, December 31

1Phil Ullman88
2John Anderson61
3Lorrie Anderson60
4 - not eligibleBob Lefebvre59
5Judy Swan56
6John Bargman55
7Dave Russum42
8John Thompson41
9Michael Rogers33
10Brian Elder31
11David Sim29
12Linda Vaxvick28
13 - not eligibleRose Painter25
14Rachel Mackay24
15tNicole Pellerin23
15tPhillip Cram23
17Graeme Mudd20
18Peter Hoyer19
19tSimone Pellerin-Wood18
19tDarlene Shymkiw18
21Jan Roseneder15
22t - not eligibleAndrew Hart13
22tLynn Wilsack13
24tBrett Lybbert11
24tJanet Gill11
24tKatrina Lybbert11
27Lucianna Lybbert9
28tAnne Belton7
28tGeorge Best7
30tZoe Keefe6
30tDavid Archer6
32Jarom Lybbert3
33Hannah Lilles1


After the prize presentation I will have one more report on the official winners. We will also be doing a presentation at the April meeting of Nature Calgary’s Bird Studies Group.

Congratulations to everyone who took part! I hope you had fun, met some of your fellow birders, and learned more about the birds!

3 thoughts on “Birding Competition – Final Results

  1. Hi All
    We are in Millrise close to Fish Creek park This winter we saw Pine Grosbeak, still seeing Cedar Waxwings, lots of Redpolls, Nuthatch, Downy Woodpecker, Chickadees and Finches. There is a Chickadee pair that shows up daily just before the Sunset ….

    • Nice birds! There are some Cedar Waxwings around, but the big flocks here in winter are Bohemian Waxwings, so that may be the ones you’re seeing.

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