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2018 Kansas Birding Big Year Contest is Underway

Friday, January 12, 2018 9:49
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2018 Kansas Birding Big Year Contest is Underway2018 Kansas Birding Big Year Contest is Underway

PRATT, Kan. -( The 2018 Kansas Birding Big Year, hosted by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT), is underway and you’re invited to participate in the fun.

Unlike other big year competitions that span the U.S. in a calendar year, participants in the 2018 Kansas Birding Big Year try to observe as many species of birds as they can within the borders of Kansas from Jan. 1 – Dec. 31.

Participants of all skill levels may compete in one of three age groups: youth (17 and under), adult (18-64), and senior (65 and up). The winners from each category will receive prizes to be awarded next January. See guidelines below.

Participation Guidelines

1. Participants must register via email with the event coordinator Mike Rader at KDWPT: on or before April 1 to be part of the program for 2018.

2. Participants must read and abide by the set of rules governing the competition (available at 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 disqualify the participant from the competition.

3. Participants are required to log their data into the online service, eBird, available on the Cornell University website, Each participant will need to create an individual profile, with sign-in and password to begin the submission of sightings.

4. Participants will need to submit a running total list of observed species quarterly to the coordinator of the program. This is to help track progress and provide quality control. The program coordinator and competition committee have final say on list totals. Dates for 2018 submission will be: June 30, September 30 and December 31.

5. Winners of the competition in each category will be determined by a committee selected by the program coordinator. Winners will be recognized and prizes will be awarded in mid-January of the following calendar year.

Categories are defined as:

  • Youth – 16 and under
  • Adult – 17-64 (3 skill levels: Novice, Intermediate and Advanced)
  • Senior – 65 and up

6. Prizes will be awarded based on availability and appropriateness per division, as determined by program coordinator and competition committee.

For more information, visit their website.

Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT)

About KDWPT:

The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism is a cabinet-level agency with a Secretary appointed by the Governor. A seven-member, bipartisan commission, also appointed by the Governor, advises the Secretary and approves regulations governing outdoor recreation and fish and wildlife resources in Kansas. The commission conducts business during regular public sessions.

KDWPT employs approximately 460 full-time employees in five divisions: Executive Services, Administrative Services, Fisheries and Wildlife, Law Enforcement, Parks and Tourism.

Department History:

  • 1905 – Fish and game laws were organized under the Kansas Fish and Game Department and implementation of a state law requiring a license to hunt.
  • 1911 – The State Fish and Game Department was placed under the supervision of the University of Kansas Board of Regents
  • 1925 – The Fish and Game Department was reorganized as the Kansas Forestry, Fish and Game Commission with three board members appointed by the Governor.
  • 1927 – Commission was reorganized and was given approval to organize a warden service. Fishing licenses required of men 18-70.
  • 1939 – Commission’s three-member board was abolished by the legislature and replaced by a six-member bipartisan commission appointed by the Governor
  • 1943 – Legislature gives the commission full authority to set seasons and dates
  • 1955 – The legislature and Gov. Fred Hall create the State Park and Resources Authority.
  • 1960 – First Kansas boating laws enacted
  • 1987 – Gov. Mike Hayden signs executive order merging the State Park and Resources Authority and Fish and Game Commission to create the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks
  • 2011 – Gov. Sam Brownback signs executive order moving the Division of Tourism from the Department of Commerce to the newly renamed Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism

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