Not all Colorado counties were created equal. Some are large, some are small, some are urban, some are rural, some have diverse habitats, some not so much. CFO has developed a handicap system based on a decade of eBird data that will establish “par” for each county, essentially a percentage of the total species that one would expect to find in that county at that time of year. Teams will be ranked according to their species total divided by par for the county they birded. This is a novel approach and there are some obvious challenges, such as the disparity in data between heavily birded counties like Boulder, Denver and Larimer vs. much less birded counties like Huerfano, Moffat or Sedgwick. If anything, we hope this will motivate teams to select these under-birded counties!
How to Compete
Rules for the competition will be similar to an official American Birding Association Big Day.A team must have a minimum of two participants and must register through the CFO website. Teams can register in one of the following categories:
- Green (non-motorized)
- Youth (all observers of high school age or younger; must be accompanied by an adult driver; youth team members are not permitted to drive)
- Photo-Audio (only photographed and audio-recorded species are counted)
Prizes will be awarded to the winner in each category. In addition, a $1000 donation will be given on behalf of winning teams to the CFO-approved conservation organization of their choice.
All team members must sign a liability waiver prior to participating. For youth teams, a parent must sign for each participant.