- All teams must have an adult chaperone/driver.
- Participants must identify birds on their own – Adults must not help locating or identifying birds.
- If team comes to a consensus on the identification of a bird, and the adult knows it is wrong, they can strike the species from the list. Teams cannot count that individual bird again, though if they encounter the species again and correctly identify it, it can go on the list. This helps avoid the identification becoming a “guessing game” until they hit upon the correct identification.
- Teams must have at least 2 participants and not more than 5.
- Teams must compete within the age division of their oldest participant.
- Team members must stay within voice contact of each other at all times.
- All birds counted must be identified by at least 2 team members.
- Count only full species (as listed on official GOS State Checklist).
- Birds must be conclusively identified by sight or sound. A bird only identified to group (i.e. scaup, either greater or lesser) may be counted as a species, if no other bird from that group appears on the list.
- Birds counted must be alive, wild, unrestrained and within the state of Georgia.
- Participants must follow the American Birding Association (ABA) code of Birding Ethics (Page 9-10).
- Obey all access rules to public lands, and acquire permission to access private land.
- Electronic or recorded birdcalls may be used (within ABA code of birding ethics) - i.e. not used with rare or endangered species, or in areas where their use is prohibited (some National Wildlife Refuges).
- Flushing birds from nests or cavities is not allowed.
- Teams can travel as much of the state as they want.
- Birds can only be counted during the 24-hour count starting at 5 p.m. Saturday, April 25, and ending at 5 p.m. Sunday, April 26.
- If your team birds at Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center, be aware that a quota turkey hunt is scheduled for April 18-24 and another on April 25-May 1. Please follow these guidelines to reduce the chances of conflict:
- Stay within the safety zones (marked on area map) or along main roads and lakes
- Hunters cannot discharge a firearm within 50 yards of public roads, but be aware of their vehicles and avoid playing owl calls or being loud in the vicinity (slamming car doors, etc.)
- Don’t walk beyond closed gates.
- The team must submit the checklist no later than 5 p.m. Sunday, April 26.
- Totals are considered final once lists are submitted.
- The decision of the judges in all rulings is final.
The Youth Birding Competiton is primarily funded by The Environmental Resources Network Inc. (T.E.R.N.), friends group of the Wildlife Resources Division's Nongame Conservation Section. For more information on T.E.R.N. and how to become a member, call (478) 994-1438 or check online at http://tern.homestead.com .
Donations were also provided by Eagle Optics (www.eagleoptics.com ), Atlanta Audubon Society (www.atlantaaudubon.org ) and Georgia Ornithological Society (www.gos.org ).
For more information on Georgia's Youth Birding Competition, contact us at (912) 262-3191.