2013 Was a record year for the BRRRRDathon…Record dollars raised ($3,800!), High # species found by one team (54)…Record # of participants (25)…and sadly, Record rainfall! Once again the temps were anything but BRRRR! But with a new trophy (Gary the Granite Great Gray) and an gregarious gaggle of bird chasers at the evening dinner/compilation, the event was a great success!
A total of 67 species were seen including Great Gray Owl, Northern Hawk Owl, Eastern Bluebird, Mute Swan, Hooded Merganser, Eurasian Collared Dove, Varied Thrush, 7 species of gulls including Greater Black-backed, Lesser Black-backed, Iceland, Glaucous, and Thayers. Misses included Black-backed Woodpecker, Spruce Grouse, Goshawk, Purple Finch. Some recent birds did not show up for the teams, including Barrow’s Goldeneye and Slaty-backed Gull. Teams ranged from Itasca County to Sax-Zim Bog to Grand Marais to Ashland and Mellon Wisconsin. Thanks to all!
The Winning Team! Eagle Optic’s Badger Irruption (from L to R…Tom Prestby, Max Henschell, Eric Wood, Jessica Gorzo, David LaPuma)
The Madison-Green Bay, Wisconsin team was sponsored by Eagle Optics and they did their homework by scouting for four days prior to the event. Despite the icy roads and windy Saturday conditions, they found 54 species including the only Mute Swan. Despite much searching, they missed Pileated Woodpecker. Their efforts raised a whopping $1800 for Friends of Sax-Zim Bog!
In second place was Team Spread Eagle, Chris West and Alex Stark, who turned up an awesome 49 species. 3rd place was defending champs, the Grousing Twitchers (David Benson, John Ellis, Alex Ellis)who turned up 43 species. 4th place was Lagopus consisting of Erik Bruhnke and Jacky Ramsey (35 species). And Shawn Conrad pulled off a heroic Itasca-County-only birdathon and found 30 species including the event’s only Eurasian Collared Dove and Bohemian Waxwings.
The Egreatables defended their 1-day BRRRRDathon title in 2013 (L to R…Abi Kritzer, AnnMarie Geniusz, Stephen Bockhold). They tallied an impressive FOUR SPECIES OF OWLS in one day!…Including a Great Gray Owl in a new location. Their total for the day was 29 species. Congrats!
A winter birdathon done without a car? Team Cold and Green did just that and repeated as Wintergreen division champs! (Tim Bates, team captain with Gary the Great Gray…Not pictured, Pat Kohlin, Andrew Webster and Tom Beery) This year they did it all on bikes within the city limits of Duluth…A very cold and exhausting day! BUT they managed an impressive 25 species including the competitions only EASTERN BLUEBIRD!
Some of the prizes donated by our prize sponsors…Frost River (www.frostriver.com), Bemidji Woolen Mills (bemidjiwoolenmills.com), Kollath-Stensaas Publishing (www.kollathstensaas.com), Stone Ridge Press (www.stoneridgepress.com), BirdNerdz (www.birdnerdz.net) and The PhotoNaturalist (www.ThePhotoNaturalist.com). THANKS TO ALL!
And a big thanks to the Minnesota Power Foundation whose contribution helped to make this event happen.
2013 Photothon Results
Three intrepid photographers participated in the 2013 Photothon which spanned a full 12 days this year. Most could only get out a few days, but their results were impressive! Jan Killian of the Spooner, Wisconsin-based Northern Lights Camera Club edged out her fellow club member, Jason Rizzo and Cloquet, Minnesota photographer Matthew Moses to win the event. Her amazing photo of two battling Bald Eagles scored the highest # of points based on EXECUTION, CREATIVITY, and DIFFICULTY.
Top Five Images From The Photothon
#1 scoring photo. Jan Killian discovered these squabbling eagles along the road in northwest Wisconsin. They were battling over a road-killed deer. The judges loved the drama, blood on the face (deer’s blood) and sharpness and light.
#2 Jan Killian.
#3. Jason Rizzo’s Goldeneye in flight. The judges loved Jason’s creative composition, the action, and the monochromatic feel of the image.
#4 Jan Killian’s Bald Eagle portrait but with an edge and an intensity.
#5. Matthew Moses portrait of a male Pine Grosbeak is not your everyday boring portrait…Judges loved the muted colors, the creative composition, and shallow depth of field. Very nice!
In addition to the Top Five, here are a few more high-scoring images that were favorites of the judges:
Matthew Moses’s unique Common Redpoll image.
Matthew Moses’s Red-bellied Woodpecker on snag. This image really places the bird in its habitat, and gives the craggy stump equal billing.
Jason Rizzo’s very nice Redpoll images is made even better by the nicely-contrasting oak leaves.