2019 Birding Big Year Results, 2020 Contest

2019 Birding Big Year Results, 2020 Contest

PRATT – Break out the binoculars – the 2020 Kansas Birding Big Year competition, hosted by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT), is officially underway! Participation is simple; record the number of unique bird species you see in Kansas from Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 2020 and submit your findings. You just might end up a 2020 Kansas Birding Big Year winner!

Participants of all skill levels are invited to compete in one of three age groups: youth (age 17 and younger), adult (ages 18-64), and senior (age 65 and older). The winners from each category will receive prizes to be awarded in January 2021.

Participation Guidelines

  1. Participants must register online at ksoutdoors.com/services/Wildlife-Diversity/2020-Kansas-Birding-Big-Year on or before April 1 to participate in the 2020 contest.
  2. Participants must read and abide by the set of rules governing the competition. These rules are adapted from the American Birding Association Recording Rules and Interpretations and include the Code of Birding Ethics. Breaking or disregard for these rules will result in disqualification.
  3. Participants must log their data into the online service, eBird, available on the Cornell University website, www.ebird.org. Each participant will need to create an individual profile, with sign-in and password to begin the submission of sightings.
  4. Participants must submit a running total list of observed species quarterly to the program coordinator. This is to help track progress and provide quality control. The program coordinator and competition committee have final say on list totals. Quarterly submission dates for the 2020 contest are: June 30, September 30 and December 31.

Winners will be recognized, and prizes will be awarded, in mid-January of the following calendar year. Award categories are as follows: Youth, Adult Novice, Adult Intermediate, Adult Advanced, and Senior.

The 2019 Kansas Birding Big Year Contest wrapped up in December, with Malcolm Gold claiming the title of “Kansas’ Top Birder” after identifying 337 unique species of birds in the state last year. Sponsors for the 2019 contest include: Acorn Naturalists, Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, The Coleman Company, Malcolm Gold, The Nature Conservancy, Dr. Robert Penner, and the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism. The top winners in each category are listed below.

Adult, Advanced

  1. Malcolm Gold – 337*
  2. Jeff Calhoun – 287*
  3. Andrew Burnett – 262
  4. Andrew Miller – 259
  5. Matt Gearheart – 256

Adult, Intermediate

  1. Debra McKee – 316*
  2. Aaron Batterbee – 297*
  3. Dan Broers – 273*
  4. Molly Zahn – 247
  5. Jennifer Hammett – 244

Adult, Novice

  1. Michael Bader – 245
  2. Chris Lake – 236
  3. Juan Avena – 233
  4. Ann Tanner – 153
  5. Todd Becker – 103


  1. William Kirsch – 249
  2. Kaleb Kroeker – 224
  3. Sam Schermerhorn – 218
  4. Danielle Gold – 188
  5. Michaela Gold – 158


  1. Mark Pheasant – 335*
  2. Henry Armknecht – 329*
  3. Tom Ewert – 280*
  4. Mickey Louis – 277*
  5. Carolyn Schwab – 270*

An asterisk (*) denotes a Top 10 Overall score.

For more on the Kansas Birding Big Year, visit ksoutdoors.com/services/Wildlife-Diversity/2020-Kansas-Birding-Big-Year.