Birdlam: An Oklahoma Birding Competition!

Birdlam 2021

The Payne County Audubon Society is excited to share that we are hosting our 1st Annual Birdlam on April 17th! Birdlam is a friendly competition between Payne County and Cleveland County and everyone is welcome to participate.

For $25, you get a t-shirt and are eligible to win prizes including most bird species seen and most sightings of a Snowy Egret (our target species this year), among others. The money raised from this event goes to support PCAS costs and our yearly study grants. In future years, we hope to expand to other Oklahoma counties!

Image of orange and black t-shirt options

Individual Best Prizes

  • $100 Aspen Coffee gift card for the individual reporting the most species.
  • $100 Blue Spruce gift card for the individual reporting most sightings of the target species (Snowy Egret).
  • $100 District Bicycle gift card for the individual reporting most species without use of a motor vehicle across at least two sites.
  • $100 Hideaway gift card for the individual reporting the most species seen while birding in one spot.
  • $200 gift card in memory of Drs. Rudy and Helen Miller for the individual reporting the most species not seen by birders from the opposing county.

Prizes will be conveyed to the winners according to contact information furnished at the time of registration.

2021 Birdlam Rules

The purpose of Birdlam is to allow birders in Payne and Cleveland (OK) counties to engage is a birding competition for fun and bragging rights. Individuals will choose to bird one county or the other, and will register accordingly.  Birders are to tally all allowable species of birds seen within the birder’s chosen county in a single day.

Locations: Payne and Cleveland Counties

Birders may count any allowable bird species seen or heard while the birder is physically within the boundaries of their chosen county.  This is based on the location of the birder, not the bird.  County boundaries will be as shown on the current Official Oklahoma State Map. In future years, we hope to include more counties!

Natural Birding:  No Recorded Calls

Birds may not be called or enticed to respond by any means.  Neither electronic nor recorded calls, nor emissions from a birder intended for the same purpose, are allowable.

Birders are allowed to possess an electronic device in the field for the purposes of confirming a bird call, but the device must be used with an earbud or inside a vehicle.

Target Species:  Snowy Egret

It is expected that the competition will be repeated in future years.  Each year the Birdlam Committee will select a different bird to be our target species.  Candidate species should be as locally restricted as possible, should be something of a challenge to locate, should be moderately charismatic, and preferably would be suitable to print on a tee shirt.

Want an extra shirt?

We’re happy to sell you one! Profits go towards PCAS Study Grants and community programing. Order here!

Date: Saturday, April 17, 2021

Birding will commence at 12:00 midnight and will continue through the following midnight.  Birders may scout chosen territory in advance, but may only count species seen and/or heard during the specified 24 hour period.

Species Lists:  Individual Submission

Following the competition, the Birdlam Committee will put together a composite list including all species of birds legitimately reported in each county. The county with the most species reported is the winner.

In addition there are prizes for individual birders as spelled out below.  Candidates for these prizes will submit individual species lists via mail or email as indicated above.  The prizes will be conveyed to the winners according to contact information furnished at the time of registration.

After The Competition

After the competition, individual species lists may be emailed to, or may be mailed to: Payne County Audubon Society, PO Box 82, Stillwater, OK 74075.

Lists must be emailed or postmarked no later than April 24, 2021.  Please be prompt, and please be sure to identify the birder the list belongs to.

Covid-19 Restrictions:  Follow CDC Rules

All birders must comply with applicable CDC Covid restrictions in effect on April 17, 2021. Accordingly, unless those guidelines change, for this competition  a birder who chooses to bird in the presence of other birders must either observe masking and distance requirements at all times, or otherwise be fully in compliance with CDC rules found here.

Counting:  By The Book

For reasons of simplicity, any current field guide of American birds may be used to determine which species are eligible.  A species need not be listed as endemic to the area, so long as it is listed as a species in the book.

Birds must be conclusively identified by sight or sound.  The bird must be alive and unrestrained.  Nests and eggs do not count as birds.

Registration: The Birdlam Committee

No club registration is required, since the competitors are set by the rules of the competition.  However, each individual  desiring to participate must register by completing an online or hard copy registration and submitting the required fee.  The fee is $25 per birder.  Contact information is only required for birders who desire to be considered for a prize.  Please indicate if you will be birding without the use of mechanized transportation, or if you will be birding in a single location, for prize consideration. You can register online here and pay your fee here.

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