Please join us in congratulating Vikki Jones of St. Clair, Michigan- winner of the September 2021 eBird Challenge, sponsored by Carl Zeiss Sports Optics. Vikki’s name was drawn randomly from the 274 eBirders who submitted at least 20 eligible checklists with rated sound recordings in September. Vikki will receive a new ZEISS Conquest HD 8×42 binocular for her eBirding efforts. Here’s Vikki’s birding story:
My grandma and aunt introduced me to cardinals and chickadees when I was a child. But my spark bird was about 20 years ago when a Red-headed Woodpecker visited my yard feeder. I couldn’t believe such a beautiful bird was in my own backyard. The nature center at my local metro park shared details for an upcoming field trip. I joined the trip, met local birders and fell in love with birds.
I started using eBird after a trip leader from the Tawas Point Birding Festival in Michigan shared the tool with trip participants. The ease of use to keep my life list hooked me. I learned to use the tool to help me find local birds and birds where I traveled, and eBird is now my favorite birding application. I bird every day using eBird, and currently have a ‘Days of checklist streak’ of almost four years. I enjoy being able to contribute to science and hope the bird details provided can aid in improving our environment for all bird species.
One reason I enjoy birding is because I am always learning; a new song or other vocalization, a new field mark, behavior or habitat need. But what I most enjoy is the birding community. The friendships I have made over the past 20 years are priceless. My husband shares my passion and birding gives us a fun pastime to enjoy in our retirement.
Thanks to The Cornell Lab of Ornithology for developing eBird and all the other birding tools and to Carl Zeiss Sports Optics for sponsoring the monthly challenge. And thank you for my new Zeiss Conquest HD binoculars!