Big Year Challenge 2020 starts now!

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Holly
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Big Year Challenge 2020 starts now!

Hi all

Sorry back at work after Xmas break so its time to kick off the Big Year Challenge for 2020!

Here are the rules (taken from the small year):

  • The challenge runs for images taken from Jan 1 2020 till Dec 31 2020
  • Each participant will have their own thread for each challenge that they post all their photos in to: E.g. Holly's Big Year 2020  
  • Every Bird Counts (EBC) - as long as it is clearly identifiable. Except - birds must be 'in the wild' so no birds in zoos etc and domestic fowl
  • Only photos taken by you in Australia within the Year (time frame) can be submitted
  • Quantity not Quality - only your personal capacity for embarrassment (and EBC rule above) limits you! There is no judgement here!
  • 1 Species (including all subspecies)  = 1 Point - but feel free to post bonus pics of previously posted birds as you get better photos
  • Rule adjudication by popular vote / howling mob (and admin stepping in where needed!)
  • Comments (nice ones) encouraged on all threads, those of us who want advice / criticism can ask for it
  • Winner takes all - fame, adulation, glory, bragging rights (and a Birds in Backyards prize pack)

Small year (Sept to Dec 2019) cut off date for uploading is Jan 15. You've got a few days to finish up before I declare a winner.

Alex Rogers
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Thanks for that Holly - looking forward to having fun with this challenge again in 2020. 

Devster
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Thanks Holly, looking forward to 2020

pip-lb
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Anyone care to guess how many species we'll collectively see? 

The 5 of us on the small year challenge saw 350 species. Could we get 500? Or 600? 

I think it is a good challenge for us to get out and document what we see after this fire season. We can produce some useful information. I hope more than 5 will join this year. 

It is 'competition' in name only, as far as i'm concerned. The real challenge is honing id skills and getting out into natural spaces - walking and focussing on what is around you. Also a challenge of photographic skills but speaking personally, i have a pretty limited camera and the bulk of my picks will basically be crap so i hope no one is turned off by the need for quality, or intimidated by some of the incredible shots that others get. It's not a photographic competition afterall. I warn everyone, i will be uploading many terrible photos that nevertheless confirm a bird identity.

My capacity to withstand embarrassment is truly prodigious.

Happy birding everyone.     

dwatsonbb
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Couldn't agree more pip, its all about getting out there, and as you say, we as a group can perhaps provide some data on survival rates in certain areas.

Look forward to some other members hopefully joining in.

Apparently more than 800 species found in our wonderful land, many of course with extremely limited range.Maybe 500 would be an acheivable target? Obviously more is better.

"My capacity to withstand embarrassment is truly prodigious." I like that pip, I reckon I am with you there all the way, although I don't think anyone has anything to be embarressed about, after all we are all students of life, with much to learn before moving on.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

Alex Rogers
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Is there anything people would like to change about the rules? Good opportunity to do it now if so. 

Holly
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Alex Rogers wrote:

 

Is there anything people would like to change about the rules? Good opportunity to do it now if so. 

 

Yes be sure to speak now!

 

I might do a bit of a push on social media too - see if we can get some newbies to join up

 

Alex Rogers
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Holly, does it makes sense to open subforums for 2019, 2020 etc to keep it cleaner? 

Devster
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Rules seem good. One thing I'd like to clarify is with subspecies. Personally I'm in two minds about countng them. On the plus side of counting them, it makes us more aware of the different subspecies which helps us to learn. Especially with the Ringnecks etc. The only disadvantage I can see is that those of us that get to travel can have multiple enties for the same species which gives them an even greater advantage. What do others think?

Alex Rogers
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My view is that opening it to subspecies just complicates matters - 

  • they are often difficult to distinguish from each other, even by professionals
  • some of them tend to hybridize, making life REALLY difficult
  • it is not common to record subspecies on life-lists etc so I generally don't, and don't really want to start

So my preference on this would be to leave eligibility to the 900 or so full species in Aus. Open to the groups preference though. 

Devster
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That is a good point Alex. It does make it more difficult and they can be hard to identify. Also it makes it harder for me to do the stats as well :)

dwatsonbb
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Personally happy to run with the rules above, but happy to consider change if the mob thinks best.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

Holly
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Great discussion - very happy for simplicity sake to leave to species level

pip-lb
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I'd prefer to keep at species level for the reasons already mentioned. 

Devster
Devster's picture

It looks like we all prefer the normal species without subspecies.

Holly
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Hi all

 

We've just done a little social media promo about the Big Year Challenge - hopefully might entice a couple of other takers.

Apologies, I realised I haven't declared a winner of the Small Year yet. Its been a super busy post fire (well ongoing fire) work time. 

Oh and if you want to find us on social media as well we are on:


Twitter: @UrbanBirdsOz

Instagram: @birdsinbackyards (couldn't get the same handle!)

Facebook group: Birds in Backyards (Australia)

Devster
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Thanks Holly. Good to know. Oh by the way, is there a runners up prize?  ;)

Holly
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Devster wrote:

 

Thanks Holly. Good to know. Oh by the way, is there a runners up prize?  ;)

 

I can be persuded to offer a runners up prize too for sure! I'm feeling generous this morning LOL

 

karentwemlow
karentwemlow's picture

Do you have a list of all the species seen during the small year challenge?

Also for the really bad photos there is a Facebook group called Crap Bird Photography. It is such a fun group. I posted my first photo of a Gang-gang Cockatoo to their page and they loved it! Luckily I've been able to get a better photo since this one :-)

sue818
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Oops, a bit late but quite happy staying at species level. Sub-species can be posted in Best Photos if anyone wishes to do so. I just needed to know which list to adhere to & that is now clear. On with the challenge.

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