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Colorado Birding Challenge for 2021

We invite all birders to participate in the first annual Colorado Birding Challenge on May 8, 2021. The objectives of this new Big Day event are:

  1. To raise funds for conservation of declining Colorado grassland birds
  2. To generate eBird data for all 64 counties on the same day
  3. To provide a fun recreational event for the Colorado birding community and enable more people to engage in bird conservation.

We encourage you to form a team of 1-4 members. The team leader registers the team and reports the results. See directions for team leaders.

Teams will compete during 24 hours on May 8 within a single county of their choice to find the highest number of species relative to a handicap value determined for their county.  Teams must register for one of the following categories:

  • Automobile
  • Green (all birding by non-motorized means such as walking, cycling, and kayaking; may drive to destination)
  • Youth (high school age or younger; must have an adult driver)
  • Photo/Audio
  • Non-competing 

Prizes will be awarded to the winning teams of more than one person for each of the four competition categories. The winning teams will be awarded with $1000 each to donate to a conservation organization operating in Colorado. We will donate this money from our conservation funds that are separate from funds raised by the CoBC. To be eligible for a prize, teams must adhere to the ABA Big Day rules. These and the complete set of competition rules for the CoBC may be downloaded as pdf files (see resources at left side of page).

We recognize that some people would prefer to bird individually, especially during the current pandemic. If you wish to bird individually, or prefer not to compete or follow the competition rules, we welcome you to register your team under the "Non-competing" category. You (and anyone else on your team) may then bird as you wish. The results you submit to eBird, and any funds raised through donations and pledges, will still be important contributions to the Colorado Birding Challenge.

Other ways to participate :
--- If you don't wish to lead a team, you may join an "open team" if available. Click on link at left side of page for teams currently looking for participants. Scroll down to see list of all teams that have registered.
--- You may donate to the conservation cause (scroll down to donate). 100% of funds raised in 2021 will be used for conservation.

Funds raised in 2021 will be used to: 

 a) restore degraded grasslands in northern Mexico to help provide suitable habitat for wintering Colorado birds whose populations are declining due to decreasing habitat. 

b) build at least one radiotelemetry tower to help track migratory routes, breeding sites, and wintering locations of threatened grassland bird species. This information will help focus conservation efforts in Colorado and Mexico. 

These projects will be operated by our partner the Bird Conservancy of the Rockies. See a description of these conservation projects

Registration and participation are free for current and new CFO members.  For other participants who are not CFO members, the entry cost is a $50 donation (which will be used 100% for conservation). Alternatively non-CFO members may join CFO for $25 (or $12 for students) and register for free. Registration is now open for 2021.

We encourage everyone to support this cause by sponsoring a team with a donation pledge (see currently registered teams) or making a general donation by clicking on MAKE A PLEDGE on the left side of the page.

Our goal is to register teams in all 64 counties of Colorado.

Counties with Teams

Adams Alamosa Arapahoe
Archuleta Baca Bent
Boulder Cheyenne Clear Creek
Denver Dolores Douglas
El Paso Garfield Gilpin
Grand Jackson Jefferson
Kiowa Larimer Moffat
Montezuma Morgan Otero
Park Phillips Prowers
Rio Blanco Rio Grande Sedgwick
Weld Yuma

Counties without Teams

Broomfield Chaffee Conejos
Costilla Crowley Custer
Delta Eagle Elbert
Fremont Gunnison Hinsdale
Huerfano Kit Carson La Plata
Lake Las Animas Lincoln
Logan Mesa Mineral
Montrose Ouray Pitkin
Pueblo Routt Saguache
San Juan San Miguel Summit
Teller Washington