Please join us in congratulating Jason Kimm of Duncan, British Columbia, winner of the January 2017 eBird Challenge, sponsored by Carl Zeiss Sports Optics. Our January winner was drawn from eBirders who submitted at least 31 eligible eBird checklists in January. Jason’s name was drawn randomly from the 4,226 eBirders who achieved the January challenge threshold. Jason will receive new ZEISS Conquest HD 8×42 binoculars for his eBirding efforts. We asked Jason to tell us a little more about himself, his use of eBird, and his love of birds – read on for more.
My interest in birds began when I was around 13. Though I cannot remember exactly why, I am fairly sure it was influenced by my older brother Jeremy. We enjoyed traveling near and far, chasing down any bird, common to rare, in order to fill our notebooks and improve our personal year/life lists. Lately I still do the same, but more so with my wife Joanne, whom I have helped further develop her love of birds. I have also been developing the same in my two young daughters.
While I was introduced to eBird in 2012, it took a bit of time for me to warm up to it. Now I can’t imagine how I got by without it! It has helped me locate new areas to birdwatch, better track down where certain birds are being seen and track arrival/departure times during migration. It has also been fun for tracking the current long stay of a Northern Mockingbird (fairly rare in this area), first found in my yard in November 2016.
Since downloading the eBird Mobile app, things have become even easier. My lists are now submitted immediately after completion rather then waiting an unknown amount of time before I could sit to enter on my computer. Now my only delay is in adding photographs after the fact, either because they turned out nice, or to help confirm ID.
My recent goal with eBird has been to attempt to locate thin spots in data within my local county, and do what I can to help fill them in. This has taken me up several mountains along old logging trails, or out on a small boat or ferry to watch the waters, which strangely are passed by far too often for a coastal area… My most recent ferry ride can be found here: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S33864939
I would like to thank eBird and Carl Zeiss Optics for putting on this challenge. I have greatly enjoyed taking part in the eBirder of the Month, which has encouraged me to get out more and bird harder!