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Colorado Birding Challenge for 2021

Thank you to everyone who participated in this inaugural edition of the Colorado Birding Challenge!

73 Teams

173 Birders

44 Colorado Counties

281 Species

$35,496 raised for grassland bird conservation!

The official results are posted on the COBC Results Page, but here is a summary:

First Place in the category of Photo/Audio, which required each team to document every sighting with either a photograph or an audio recording goes to Team JPEG Juncos. Birding in Arapahoe County, the JPEG Juncos, comprised of Rob Raker and Mitchell Bailey, documented an impressive 94 species, 60% of the county par. Honorable mention goes out to Team Minner-Lee, a father-son duo (Mark and Everest Minner-Lee) who birded Boulder County and documented 69 species (40% par). 

First Place in the Green category goes to the Masked Trogons, who birded Larimer County by bike and by foot. Congratulations to CFO President Nick Komar and CFO Board Director Greg Osland who managed to find 108 species (56% par) without the use of a vehicle on a very windy day! Other green teams included the Cheyenne Canyon Wrens in El Paso County, led by Allisa Linfield, and the Flying Penguins led by Jim Burnham, who also competed in Larimer County. Notably, Erin Strasser of BCR Bike for Baird’s, biked, kayaked and hiked as a one-person, non-competing team in Larimer County

In the Youth category, First Place honors belong to the Crystal River’s Wild Scenics (Mary Harris, Madalynn Connor, George Waaler and Katie Daniels) who birded in Garfield County and managed to see 74 species, 63% of par! Congrats to the Little Fledglings, led by Reed Gorner, who found 83 species in Jefferson County (46% par) and the Dangerous Ducks, co-led by Erin and Ezekial Lynum, whose kids turned up 41 species in Larimer County.

There were 39 teams that competed in the Automobile category covering 35 different Colorado Counties! Competition was quite strong in spite of challenging weather conditions. Four teams managed to find 90+ percent of the county par, which is truly amazing. One Big Holiday, led by Ryan Votta in Archuleta County, tallied 106 species, 93.8% par. The D/Ts (We Can Quit Anytime) led by Glenn Dunmire found 122 species in Dolores County, 95.3% par. The Grand Bunch, led by Sue Riffe birding in, wait for it, Grand County, had 102 species -- a whopping 97.1% of par!

But First Place and bragging rights for the 2021 COBC Automobile category goes to Team Ouray who counted 92 species in Ouray County, representing 98.9% of par! Congratulations to Don Marsh, Cliff Utech and Kent Nelson for a well-deserved win!

The CFO board is already looking ahead to next year’s COBC and we hope to make participation easier for individuals, teams and donors. If you would like to share your feedback or ideas, please email them to