Wednesday, May 19, 2010

'World Series of Birding' in the news

Every May, gobs of birders converge in New Jersey for the World Series of Birding, a 24-hour birding competition that generates money for conservation efforts. Despite the event's 27-year history, many birders haven't heard of it. That being the case, consider the lack of awareness among the general public and the mainstream media.

After the annual event, held May 15 this year, I like to see how much news coverage the competition received in newspapers, radio outlets and websites. A lot of competing factors go into deciding which news items make the final cuts, but I enjoy seeing how well the event organizers and participants communicated with editors and reporters about covering the World Series.

Here's a roundup of news coverage from traditional media. If you've found other links, please share them.

This bird count is of World Series proportions and it starts tonight
[Side note: Glen Davis is captain of Zen Zugunruhe, sponsored by WildBird for 12 years. --akh]
The World Series of Birding was still 40 hours away, but Glen Davis was already in a competitive state of mind. Davis, 32, from the north end of Ocean City, has been participating in the annual birding event, now in its 27th year, since he was 15 years old.
“We were the first youth team to compete,” Davis said. “Now, the series is full of youth teams.”
So it’s no surprise that he acts on instinct. While he is talking, he sees the shadow of a bird flying overhead. Davis’ head and the heads of several other birders turn like cats salivating over a potential meal.

World Series of Birding is frantic, not genteel
This weekend hundreds of birdwatchers will be frantically criss-crossing New Jersey looking for as many specimens as possible. The annual World Series of Birding turns the normally leisurely activity into a competitive sports with hundreds of thousands of dollars at stake. The 24 hour contest starts at midnight sharp.

120 teams compete for ‘Urner Cup’ in World Series of Birding
CAPE MAY — On the stroke of midnight on Friday night, teams of birders will go head to head in a natural treasure hunt in the birding world, the New Jersey Audubon’s World Series of Birding.

Big birding competition will forgo the gadgetry
Scott Fraser is prepping for the birding big time. So he doesn't just have his binoculars and his scope. He's got his iPhone with its super birding app. He's got his navigational GPS. On a day in the field, he'll be calling and texting, ever in search of feathered updates. And, yes, har har, he'll be tweeting.

And They're Off!
The countdown clock has ticked down to the last half hour before the World Series of Birding bursts out of starting gate and competing teams of birders fan out from Cape May and across New Jersey to check off every species in "North America's premier conservation event": "Every species found--every dollar raised--preserves and protects bird habitat."

Birders use trolley to spot species on-the-go in Cape May
LOWER TOWNSHIP — Janet Crawford, a volunteer naturalist for the New Jersey Audubon Society, has watched birds from many different vehicles — cars, a regular bus, even a school bus.
The resident of the Leesburg section of Maurice River Township decided to switch it up Saturday, boarding a Great American Trolley with a team of other nature enthusiasts to participate in the annual World Series of Birding. The birders bounced across southern Cape May County, clang, clang, clanging from one wildlife hotspot to the next, starting at 5 a.m. and ending at night.



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