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Finding feathered friends: Birding cup returns

MORGANTOWN — Everyone is invited to join the Avian Conservation Center of Appalachia and Mountaineer Audubon for the second Morgantown Birding Cup, which will be held from 6 p.m. May 14 to 6 p.m. May 15.

This is a friendly competition; the goal is for families and individuals to have fun and get out bird watching. Count all the bird species you encounter during this 24-hour period.

Like last year’s event, organizers have decided that participants in the 2021 Morgantown Birding Cup should only travel within walking distance of where they live.

A “team” may consist of members of the same family, same household, or of friends or significant others who are already exposed to each other on a regular basis. Gathering at the residence of one group member and walking from there is acceptable. A team’s count area must be in one of the five West Virginia counties in Mountaineer Audubon’s region: Harrison, Marion, Monongalia, Preston and Taylor.

The goal of the Morgantown Birding Cup is to have fun and learn about the birds that live near you, as well as to raise awareness about the West Virginia Young Birders Club, which is operated as a project of the Avian Conservation Center of Appalachia.

Register ahead of time by emailing Katie Fallon: Registration is free.

Email your bird list to Fallon no later than 6:15 p.m. May 15. You can keep your list on or using another method of your choosing. By submitting your list to eBird, you will be also participating in the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s global citizen-science initiative. Additionally, eBird can help you identify the birds you see by sight and sound, as well as provide information about where birds have been previously reported.

Fallon will invite registered participants to a Zoom meeting that will begin at 7 p.m. May 15. You do not have to participate in the Zoom meeting to participate in the birding cup, but the winners will be announced during the meeting.

There’s no fee to participate and no expectation of donations.

For more info: The Avian Conservation Center of Appalachia and Mountaineer Audubon are local 501(c)3 organizations.

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