2023 Kansas Birding Big Year Results, 2024 Contest

2023 Kansas Birding Big Year Results, 2024 Contest

For Immediate Release:
February 16, 2024

Nadia Marji CMP®, Chief of Public Affairs

Jessica Ward, Communications Manager

2023 Kansas Birding Big Year Results, 2024 Contest

PRATT – The 2024 Kansas Birding Big Year Contest, hosted by the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP), is officially underway! Participation is simple; record the number of unique bird species you see in Kansas from January 1 thru December 31, 2024, and submit your findings; You just might end up a 2024 Kansas Birding Big Year winner!

Participants of all skill levels are invited to compete in one of three age groups: Youth (ages 17 and younger), adult (ages 18 to 64), or senior (ages 65 and older). The winners from each category will receive prizes to be awarded in January 2025.

Participation Guidelines

  1. Participants must register online at ksoutdoors.com/Services/Wildlife-Diversity/2024-Kansas-Birding-Big-Year on or before April 1, 2024, to participate in this year’s 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 must create an individual profile, sign-in and password to begin submitting sightings.
  4. Participants must submit a running total list of observed species quarterly to the program coordinator to track progress and provide quality control. The program coordinator and competition committee have final say on list totals. Quarterly submission dates for the 2024 contest are: June 30, September 30 and December 31.

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

The 2023 Kansas Birding Big Year Contest wrapped up in December, with youth participant Franklin Miller and senior participant Tom Cannon claiming the title of “Kansas’ Top Birders” after they each identified 328 unique bird species in the state last year.

The top winners from 2023 in each category were:

Adult, Advanced

1. Malcolm Gold – 318*

2. Mark Nolen – 308*

3. Jeff Calhoun – 284*

4. Dan Broers – 270*

5. Sam Schermerhorn - 220

Adult, Intermediate

1. Jacob Riggs – 271*

2. Corey Entriken – 269*

3. Logan Smith – 260*

4. Melissa Bruce – 244

5. Kevin Keltner – 241

Adult, Novice

1. John Mahon– 132

2. Emma Skinner – 106

3. Beth Perkins – 64


1. Franklin Miller – 328*

2. Hezekiah Swihart – 208

3. Nicholas Niewald – 146

4. Michaela Gold – 77

5. Danielle Gold – 15


1. Tom Cannon – 328*

2. Carol Morgan – 250*

3. Dan Larson – 220

4. Barbara Peterson – 211

5. Ann Tanner – 196

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

Sponsors of the 2023 Kansas Big Birding Year contest include: City of Great Bend Convention and Visitors Bureau, Kansas Wetlands Education Center, Acorn Naturalists, Kansas Ornithological Society, Malcolm Gold, Vortex Optics, Dr. Robert Penner and KDWP.

For more on the Kansas Birding Big Year, visit ksoutdoors.com/services/Wildlife-Diversity/2024-Kansas-Birding-Big-Year.