Prepping for the Shaver’s Creek Birding Cup 2013

The Nemesis Birders with the Birding Cup

The 2012 Nemesis Birders with the Birding Cup (Nate, Alex, Drew, Josh and Ian)

The Nemesis Birders will be competing in the Shaver’s Creek Birding Cup for a second year, hoping to repeat last years successful run. Our inaugural run was fantastic, netting some great birds like American Bittern, Long-eared Owl and Red-throated Loon, but missing some easier birds such as Wilson’s Snipe, Great Egret and a well-scouted Red-headed Woodpecker for a total of 151 species. Migration was lousy last year with some heavy rain in the evening and overnight so some migrants were scarce and we almost missed out on some warblers that should be easy. We are hoping for some great migration this time around so we have to pick out the different warblers from a cacophony of sounds!

Swarovski OptikThis year, Swarovski Optik was generous enough to lend us some of their incredible optics for the competition and we are really excited to put them to the test. We will be putting them through their paces in some real world, big day birding and you will be hearing our thoughts on the bins after the competition. We have the entire team returning for 2013, although Josh is graduating on Saturday so he won’t be around the entire day and I can’t be getting in to State College until midnight on Friday night. Hopefully this won’t slow us down too much.

Pledge your Support

The Nemesis Birders are looking for pledges for the Birding Cup. The competition is run each year to raise money for Shaver’s Creek, an environmental education center. You can donate directly at their site, but the most fun is to pledge a certain amount per species. For example, a $0.10/bird pledge would end up being $15.00 if we see 150 species.

How should we compete?

We do have a question for our readers. We are torn on how to compete. The first option is to focus on winning the Birding Cup prize (team with the most species) and run around hitting hotspots in multiple counties. This maximizes our species list but we will spend less time at each spot and possibly miss some easy species because we spend too much time driving. The alternative is to compete for the County Cup and see how many species we can see just inside of Centre County. This cuts a couple of species out that would be easy in Huntingdon County such as Yellow-throated Warbler, but….the additional time we spend birding and not driving will make it less likely that we will miss something easy.


For more info, listen to a WPSU program about the Birding Cup for some more background.