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Prize Presentation – eBird Calgary 2015

Posted by Bob Lefebvre

The highlight of the January Birds & Beers meeting was the presentation of the prizes for the eBird Calgary 2015 Birding Competition. Almost all of the winners were able to make it, and it was a lot of fun to reward the winners for their accomplishments. (All photos by Wayne Walker except where indicated.)

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Some of the birders at the January Birds & Beers. Fifty-three people attended.

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Dan Arndt and I presented the prizes. Preliminary remarks.

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 Ruth and Phil Ullman – 1st place, Yard Challenge, with 88 species.

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Lorrie and John Anderson – 2nd place, Yard Challenge, 61 species.

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Aidan Vidal – 1st place, Youth category, with 241 species, and 3rd place in Latecomer Challenge, with 46 species after August 1st, 2015.

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Ethan Denton, 2nd place, Youth category, 235 species, and 2nd place in the Latecomer Challenge, 49 species.

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Simone Pellerin-Wood, 3rd place, Youth Category, 175 species.

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Graeme Mudd, tied 1st place, Beginner category, 225 species.

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Brian Elder, 1st place, Experienced category, 275 species.

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Blake Weis (left) and Ray Woods (right), tied 2nd place, Experienced category, 257 species.

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Brian Elder also won the Big Day Challenge, with 153 species recorded on May 27, 2015.

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We also recognized Blake Weis’s incredible achievement of 638 complete eBird checklists submitted in 2015.

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George Best won for Bird of the Year. He found the Golden-winged Warbler in Griffith Woods Park.

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Bob, Dan, and the prize winners. Missing were Aphtin Perratt and Chris MacIntosh, who tied with Graeme Mudd for 1st in the Beginner category with 225 species, and Bernard Tremblay, who won the Latecomer Challenge with 52 species added after August 1st.

It was a lot of fun to get together and reward the winners, and to hear them talk about their birding year. Many of the competitors have told us that they really enjoyed the experience and learned a lot, whether discovering new birding locations, where to find particular species, patterns of bird movements, or using eBird as a tool and a resource. I hope we have helped some of the competitors to become better birders and to get involved in the local birding community. The use of eBird increased greatly in our region in 2015 and we hope to see this continue.

Many thanks to our sponsors who donated prizes or money for prizes: Nature Calgary, The Wild Bird Store, Friends of Fish Creek Provincial Park, Burrcan Holdings, Phil Evans, Lynne Colborne, Richard Schulze, Lynn Wilsack, Susan Thierman, Phil Cram, and an anonymous donor.

Each winner received a framed photo certificate listing their accomplishment (each with a different photo). Here is a sample (photo by Bob Lefebvre):

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Each 1st-place winner in the Year List categories received a 24″ by 36″ canvas print of a bird photograph of their choice. The winner’s selections were not yet ready for the prize presentation. Four will be awarded: Youth winner Aidan Vidal, Experienced winner Brian Elder, and two for the three people tied as winners of the Beginner category – a shared one for Aphtin Perratt and Chris MacIntosh (a birding couple) and one for Graeme Mudd.

Other prizes awarded included 2016 Bird Photo calendars by Dan Arndt, copies of the book Looking For the Wild by Lyn Hancock (personally signed by Gus Yaki), vouchers good for one season of the Friends of Fish Creek birding course, and gift certificates of various amounts to be used at the Wild Bird Store or Robinson’s Camera.

Here is a list of the winners and their prizes:

CategoryWinnerSpeciesPrize 1Prize 2Prize 3
Latecomer -1Bernard Tremblay52$50 Robinson'sCalendar
Latecomer -2Ethan Denton49$25 Wild Bird Store
Latecomer -3Aidan Vidal46$25 Wild Bird Store
Yard -1Ruth & Phil Ullmann88Bird Feeder$75 Wild Bird StoreCalendar
Yard -2Lorrie & John Anderson61$75 Wild Bird StoreCalendar
Youth -1Aidan Vidal241Canvas PrintBook
Youth -2Ethan Denton235$75 Wild Bird StoreBook
Youth -3Simone Pellerin-Wood175$75 Wild Bird StoreBook
Beginner -1Aphtin Perratt & Chris MacIntosh225Canvas PrintBookFFCPP Course (X2)
Beginner -1Graeme Mudd225Canvas PrintBookFFCPP Course
Experienced -1Brian Elder275Canvas Print$50 Robinson's
Experienced -2Blake Weis257$75 Wild Bird Store
Experienced -2Ray Woods257$75 Wild Bird Store
Big DayBrian Elder153$50 Robinson's
Most ListsBlake Weis638 lists$50 Wild Bird Store
Bird of the YearGeorge BestGolden-winged Warbler$100 Robinson'sBook

At the end of the prize presentation, we all shared a cake supplied by Joan and Wayne Walker!

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Many thanks to everyone who worked so hard to make the competition a success: Committee members Dan Arndt, Joan Walker, Wayne Walker, Rose Painter, Andrew Slater, Rob Worona, Kris Fernet, David Pugh; plus Andrew Hart, Linda Vaxvick and Sue Konopnicki at Nature Calgary. We also received a lot of feedback on our initial ideas from Yousif Attia, Marcel Gahbauer, and Ilya Povalyaev. Special thanks to Wayne Walker for booking the Horton Road Legion for the prize presentation and for taking the photographs. Joan, Wayne, Rose and Dan made sure we had everything ready for the presentation and arrived early to set it all up.

Thanks again to everyone who participated, who went out on field trips, and who attended Birds & Beers and Nature Calgary events. It made for a memorable birding year!

A final presentation about the competition will be given at the April meeting of Nature Calgary’s Bird Studies Group on Wednesday April 6th, at the U of C.

The next Birds & Beers event is next Friday, February 26, at the Horton Road Legion, 9202 Horton Road SW, starting at 6 pm. Come and join your fellow birders for food, drinks, and conversation!

Birds & Beers, January 2016

The Calgary chapter of Birds & Beers will hold their next event at the usual location, the Horton Road Legion, on Friday January 29 from 6 to 9 pm.

Birds & Beers is an informal social gathering in which you can meet other birders and talk about birding. If you wish, you can have a drink or a meal as well. Prices at the Legion are very reasonable and the food is excellent. Everyone is welcome, including children if accompanied by an adult.

This month, instead of a speaker, the 2015 Calgary Birding Competition will be awarding the prizes to the winners. Come out and show your appreciation for all the competitors.

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Golden-crowned Warbler, found and photographed by George Best during the competition.

Royal Canadian Legion, Centennial Calgary Branch #285

9202 Horton Road SW

Friday January 29, 6:00-9:00 pm

This is one block west of Macleod Trail, between Heritage Drive and Southland Drive. See you there!

 

November Birds & Beers

The next Birds & Beers event will be held at the usual location, the Horton Road Legion, on Friday November 13. This will be the last one before the new year.

Royal Canadian Legion, Centennial Calgary Branch #285

9202 Horton Road SW

Friday November 13, 6:00-9:00 pm

Lynn Gratz will give an introduction to her upcoming Nature Calgary talk, Protecting Wetlands in Alberta. Lynn lives by Marsland Basin, a great birding hotspot east of Calgary. She has become an expert in the law concerning wetlands and how to protect them. Lynn will speak at about 7:30.

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Greater White-fronted Geese flying over Marsland Basin, October 7, 2015. There were about 4,500 more of these birds there that day. Photo by Bob Lefebvre ::Aperture: ƒ/7.1|Camera: Canon EOS 40D|Focal length: 350mm|ISO: 800|Shutter speed: 1/1000s|

In addition, a few local birders/photographers will be selling their 2016 bird calendars at the event. Bring cash and get your calendars for Christmas presents or for yourself!

We will be meeting in a private room in the back  of the building. When you arrive at the front lobby, the door may be locked so you will have to buzz and wait for someone to let you in. Then proceed to the back, past the food counter. There will be signs with directions.

If you are planning to attend and need directions or any more information, send us an email at birdscalgary@gmail.com.

Birds & Beers, Calgary Chapter on Facebook

Bob Lefebvre

Birdsong Talk, and Discussion – Birds & Beers

Join us this Friday, October 30, for our monthly Calgary Birds & Beers social get-together. This month, in addition to our usual informal chatting about anything we want to discuss (mostly bird-related of course), we will be treated to a short talk about Birdsong by Gus Yaki. This will be followed by a question-and-answer and discussion of the topic. The talk will begin at about 7:30 pm, after everyone has had a chance to visit and have something to eat and drink. It’s fine to arrive late if you can’t make it at 6:00. Everyone is welcome, including children if accompanied by an adult.

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A local songbird.

Birds & Beers is an informal social gathering in which you can meet other birders and talk about birding. If you wish, you can have a drink or a meal as well. Prices at the Legion are very reasonable and the food is excellent.

This month’s event will be held at our usual location:

Royal Canadian Legion, Centennial Calgary Branch #285

9202 Horton Road SW

Friday October 30, 6:00-9:00 pm

This is one block west of Macleod Trail, between Heritage Drive and Southland Drive. See the Event’s Facebook page for a map and more information.

We will be meeting in a private room in the back  of the building. When you arrive at the front lobby, the door will be locked so you will have to buzz and wait for someone to let you in. Then proceed to the back, past the food counter. There will be signs with directions.

If you haven’t attended a Birds & Beers meeting before, or have attended only once or twice, come out and hear Gus’s talk and join the discussion! We plan to have a talk each month, so if you have a topic you’d like to speak about at a future Birds & Beers, let us know.

If you are planning to attend and need directions or any more information, send us an email at birdscalgary@gmail.com.

Bob Lefebvre

 

Birds & Beers, September 11, 2015

The next Calgary Birds & Beers social get-together will be held from 6 to 9 pm on Friday September 11, at the Royal Canadian Legion, 9202 Horton Road SW Calgary. Everyone is welcome to join us to have a friendly chat with their fellow birders. Drinks and meals are available.

See the Facebook event page here, with a map to the location.

The following Birds & Beers events will be held on Friday October 30 and Friday November 13.

July Birds & Beers

The next Calgary Birds & Beers social get-together will be held from 6 to 9 pm on Friday July 24, at the Royal Canadian Legion, 9202 Horton Road SW Calgary. Everyone is welcome to join us to have a friendly chat with their fellow birders.

We have scheduled a few more of these events for the fall. Mark your calendars! Same time and location.

Friday, September 11, 2015
Friday, October 30, 2015
Friday, November 13, 2015

May Birds & Beers Event

Birds and Beers, Saturday May 23, 6:00 – 9:00 pm.

Royal Canadian Legion, 9202 Horton Road SW Calgary.

The next Birds & Beers social get-together for Calgary birders will be held on May 23. Drop in to the Horton Road Legion anytime after 6 pm and have an informal chat about birds. Everyone of all ages is welcome. Food and drinks are available.

See the Facebook Event Page here.

IMG_0946 (2) Mountain Bluebird, male. Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park, April 21, 2015. Photo by Bob Lefebvre

April Birds & Beers

The next Birds & Beers event in Calgary will be held Friday, April 17 at the Horton Road Legion, 9202 Horton Road SW, from 6 to 9 pm. Everyone is welcome, including kids if they are accompanied by an adult. So come on out any time after six to chat with your fellow birders.

More information and a map can be found on the event’s Facebook page.

The eBird Calgary 2015 competition will be awarding the prizes for the first challenge, and there will also be a door prize. The event is not just for people in the competition but for anyone who wants to socialize with other birders and have a drink and a bite to eat.

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Family Day Birds & Beers

The February Birds & Beers get-together will take place on Family Day, Monday February 16. The location is the Royal Canadian Legion #284, 606-38 Avenue NE Calgary. Everyone is welcome, including children. Drop in any time between 3 and 6 pm to talk about birds and birding! (After 6 pm the venue is adults-only.)

See the Facebook page here.

More information on Birds & Beers events can be found here and here.

Fuglsang_Black_BirdPhoto by Jacob Bøtter, via Wikimedia Commons

Birds & Beers Update

Posted by Bob Lefebvre

The Birds & Beers event held last Tuesday at the Horton Road Legion was a great success! About thirty-five people attended. It was nice to meet some people that we’ve only known from internet posts and photos, and to see some old friends. Dan Arndt and I were there representing both the blog and the 2015 birding competition. We were able to answer quite a few questions and discuss many birding issues.

The venue is very good for this sort of get-together. It is quiet enough so that you can carry on a conversation, and good meals and drinks are available at reasonable prices.

There is no end to the number of topics to discuss with a subject as vast and fascinating as birding, so we plan to continue to have Birds & Beers events regularly.

The next Birds & Beers will be held on Family Day, Monday February 16, so save the date! This Legion is closed that day so we are looking for another venue, but it will be all-ages so you can bring your kids. We will announce the time and location soon.

Many thanks to Wayne Walker for setting this up and being there to sign everyone in.