TUB & Doug Gochfeld - one of the founders of UBC
There's a great new challenge being put to the world's cities. It's one that got me really excited the moment it came to my attention. The brainchild of my American urban birding buddy Doug Gochfeld and some of his friends, The Urban Birding Challenge is all about getting cities around the world to compete against each other in a Big Year to see as many species as possible.
At least a dozen cities have already signed up for it including New York (Doug's stomping ground), Lima, Toronto and Miami. There are loads more cities on the verge of involvement including the likes of Jerusalem, Singapore, Paris and Beijing. All records of birds will be fed into eBird, the online checklist program who will monitor the grand totals. If cities don't input their lists on eBird then they won't be counted. It's as simple as that. Of course, there needs to be a level playing field. London for example, will not be able to live with Beijing or Nairobi in a straight head-to-head. So, there will be a handicap system put in place that will take into consideration the particular city's official bird list total.
What I love about The Urban Birding Challenge is the fact that it is so easy to get involved. You just go birding and record your list on eBird. Of course, once things start heating up I'm sure that people will be going out as often as possible urban birding to get their city up in the stakes.
I am registered as a supporter and taking the lead with London but if you would like to involve your city simply register your interest at http://www.urbanbirdingchallenge.com
It's really easy to get involved, you don't need to be an expert and it will be great fun. Plus, The Urban Birding Challenge will be a great way to promote urban birding!