NZ Big Day Birdathon 2017

General birdwatching discussion, help with bird identification, and all other things relating to wild birds and birding in NZ that don't fit in one of the other forums.
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Amber Calman
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Re: NZ Big Day Birdathon 2017

Postby Amber Calman » Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:41 am

I find the nature watch app much harder personally, but I used that over a year ago. If people cannot figure it out a tick list might be a great idea! I personally find it very easy to use, although I have been doing so for a long time.

Is anyone in the Top of the South taking part? I would possibly be able to take part, but I cannot think of anyone else...
(*)> Amber Calman, Age 15
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mark ayre
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Re: NZ Big Day Birdathon 2017

Postby mark ayre » Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:46 am

if you use the app on your phone its very easy much easier than on the web site.
cheers mark
andrewcrossland
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Re: NZ Big Day Birdathon 2017

Postby andrewcrossland » Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:15 am

Some questions:-
1. Why not allow any 24 hour period within the 48 hour window of 16/17 Dec? Wouldn't this introduce an extra element of strategy and allow better use of daylight hours?
2. By the term "any geographic area" what do you mean? A county only? A province only? An entire island?
3. Within the meaning if "timeout" what do you mean by " separate motorized travel"? And what do you mean by " rest"? Surely you're not saying that time spent sleeping is off the clock? And if the race must be run within one calendar day what us the impact of timeouts? Are you saying that stopping for gas, food, rest etc for 4 hours means you can race over a 28 hour period? And if this is the case then a Q - if the non-participating driver is awake and driving from Miranda to parengarenga over night while the actual team members sleep does this meet the rules?
Why not just say that the clock never stops and any petrol stop, meal stop, rest etc must be accepted as real time lost in the 24 hour race?
andrewcrossland
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Re: NZ Big Day Birdathon 20

Postby andrewcrossland » Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:34 am

One more question - birds released into sanctuaries are not countable right? No takahe from tiri or Saddleback from somewhere else? Yeah?
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RussCannings
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Re: NZ Big Day Birdathon 2017

Postby RussCannings » Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:01 am

I assume Andrew is responding to the ABA rules that are linked on the website. Might I suggest we use the same rules as last year? These are adapted from the ABA set for a NZ context. I have pasted them below. To answer Andrew's questions, I think Mark still intends on allowing birders to select a 24 hour period of their choice (within the Fri-Sun window). This is one of the adjustments I made in the rules below. Re: Time-outs, these are times when team-members are out of ear-shot--the birding ticking stops, but the times keeps ticking! Lastly, while I fully appreciate the reasoning behind excluding trans-located birds such as Takahe on Tiri, I think for the purposes of this competition--which is primarily for fun and raising money for conservation, we should allow all established breeding populations of native birds in the wild to be counted. For record-keeping, we can obviously indicate whether or not fenced/island sanctuaries were visited etc., but let's not discourage people from visiting these great conservation initiatives.

[2016 Rules below; I have them formatted better on a Word Doc if anyone wants]

Proposed New Zealand Bird Race Rules
(Borrowed and adapted from the American Birding Association)
1. Counting
A. Count only full species as indicated by the current OSNZ national checklist (4th Edition, 2010). For vagrants not yet recorded in NZ, they must be full species as designated by an internationally recognized checklist (e.g. IOC or Clements), and observers must submit all relevant evidence to the OSNZ records committee (http://www.osnz.org.nz/webforms/online-reporting-form). *Despite being on the official checklist, Red Junglefowl (Chicken), Helmeted Guineafowl, and Red-legged Partridge may not be counted, as they are not currently considered established in the wild.
B. Birds must be conclusively identified by sight or sound. Use common sense: if in doubt about the bird’s identity, don’t count it. Identification may be confirmed after the original observation if that identification is based solely on field notes/photographs made while the bird was living and unrestrained during the count period. If counting a species retroactively in this manner, the bird in question must have been recognized as different in the field at the time of observation. In other words, participants may not photograph flocks of birds then pick out new species after the fact. A bird identified to one of a species group (i.e. skua sp., shearwater sp., parakeet sp., etc.) may be counted as a species if no other in that group is counted.
C. An introduced species may be counted if it is part of an established breeding population. For example, Peafowl in the rough backcountry of Wanganui may be counted, but a single male peafowl at the Hamilton Zoo may not. *In addition to the three uncountable game birds mentioned above(1A), Muscovy Ducks are also NOT countable in this competition.
D. Birds counted must be alive, wild, and unrestrained. Birds responding to tape-recorders or feeders may be counted (Use appropriate discretion—e.g. Do not play tapes in heavily birded areas, or if nesting birds could become agitated). Injured birds may be counted if wild and unrestrained. Eggs do not count as birds.
E. In order for all detected species to count, 95+% must be confidently heard or seen by ALL team members. Therefore if a team detects 100 species in 24 hours, a maximum of 5 species can be heard and/or seen by single observers only.
2. Time
All counting must be within a single 24-hour period (Must be consecutive hours), determined by where the count begins or ends. (e.g. If you start counting at 4pm on a Saturday, you must stop counting at 4pm on Sunday). If a team chooses, they can retroactively decide when their official count started based on when key birds were seen, however they must be certain of the exact time for each species.
3. Area – Any geographic area within NZ territory may be covered (Including a range of 200 nautical miles from land).
4. Travel
A. Travel may be by any means, provided that all participants remain within direct voice-contact distance during all travel except timeouts.
TIME OUTS: When team members are out of direct voice contact (e.g. Different vehicles, toilet, petrol station). Birds cannot be counted during these times but time continues to tick.
B. When motorized vehicles are used, all participants must travel in the same vehicle, except during time-outs.
5. Participants
A. Any number of participants may constitute a team.
B. Nonparticipating companions may accompany the team and may record or may drive the vehicle. A companion may not aid in identification of, nor in any way indicate to the participants the presence of any bird not previously identified by every participant.
6. Conduct
Each participant must:
A. remain within direct voice-contact distance of all other participants at all times, except during time-outs.
B. make every reasonable effort to identify personally and to help other team members identify every species counted by the team.
C. count only birds personally and unquestionably identified.
D. review the Big Day Count Rules before the start of the Count.
E. observe appropriate birding ethics.
F. drive safely.
G. abide by New Zealand Law.
7. Outside Information
A. During the Count, teams must make every reasonable effort to avoid receiving bird-finding help from nonparticipants. Phone and radio contacts and pre-arranged field encounters are not permitted. Participants may not travel with or walk any substantial distance with non-participants, except with companions, as provided in Rule 5B. When other birders are encountered accidentally, participants may not solicit bird-finding information and should avoid receiving any information from them, to the extent that common courtesy allows. If despite all precautions information is received during an accidental encounter, the team may use it. (For example, you can’t call a friend and ask them what is currently showing at their local wader roost, but if you are at a wader roost and a random birder walks up and informs you that they just had a Broad-billed Sandpiper down the road, you may seek it out and count it).
B. Any information received prior to the Count may be used during the Count.
8. Ethics – Each participant should strive to maintain proper birding ethics at all times.
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RussCannings
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Re: NZ Big Day Birdathon 2017

Postby RussCannings » Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:13 am

p.s. In terms of geographical areas--as I have indicated in the rules, broadly speaking this is anywhere in NZ. In terms of the competition, we would presumably keep track of regional winners (i.e. Best in Canterbury 2017), national winners and runners up (Top totals overall), record-breakers (eg Top 24 hour total in Northland ever), and perhaps some other categories like Non-motorised Transport, 1 hour only, 20 km-radius, Under 18, etc).
andrewcrossland
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Re: NZ Big Day Birdathon 2017

Postby andrewcrossland » Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:27 am

Crickey! North Americans and the language of ambiguity!
If time continues to tick when one member is on the dunny then why is it called a time out?
And why say 'any" geographical area in nz - , why not just utilise the English language a bit better and say "every" geographical area.
What you've written Russell kinda makes sense but it ain't what the website says?
I just wonder if the organizers team is sponsored by Oracle because these rules seem to be copied straight from the Anerica-s cup rule book!
One last question - can we use a winged keel?
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RussCannings
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Re: NZ Big Day Birdathon 2017

Postby RussCannings » Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:41 am

Hehe, your point is well-taken Andrew. The way I see it though, is that in order to be as inclusive as possible--you can't just have a competition where only the hardcore few, willing to drive 1000+km in a species-rich part of the country always win. All should be welcome, and smaller-scale attempts should be encouraged. Obviously we can celebrate and praise those who crack 100 in a day, but let's also share the great experiences in all corners of the country and celebrate the personal challenge of attempting to see more birds that you have before in a given area.

If there are any specific parts of the rules that you find ambiguous let me know. If it's in regards to places like Tiri--let's not kid ourselves. How many Kiwis and international birders have ticked Stitchbird away from Little Barrier? Virtually everyone.

The only other resolution I can think of is an Aussie-style system where certain regions have handicaps so that if you are in Westland for example, you could compete on a relatively even footing with Canterbury. Something to think about in future?

Russ
andrewcrossland
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Re: NZ Big Day Birdathon 2017

Postby andrewcrossland » Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:50 am

I think the various categories is the way to go - but that does need to include the full range of options from fun day out on a push bike to genuine national record breaking attempts. Yeah?
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kimbirdley
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Re: NZ Big Day Birdathon 2017

Postby kimbirdley » Thu Nov 16, 2017 12:21 pm

I just happen to be driving from Timaru to Picton for the Birdathon this year. Might be eligible for most regions or kilometres covered by default!

@RussCannings I have just updated the website with your rules from last year. Agree it makes total sense to include the ones that have already been developed rather than adapting from the U.S.A.

Now our focus is to get people to register so they are eligible for prizes - so spread the word!

http://birdathon.co.nz/register-a-team/
Kimberley Collins
Science and Conservation Communicator
http://www.kimberleycollins.com

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