Date: 12/29/20 4:58 pm
From: David Provencher via CTBirds <ctbirds...>
Subject: [CT Birds] COA CT Big January 2021, the preamble...

Thankfully 2020 is winding down and we are on the threshold of a new year.
We can only hope 2021 will be better in every way! Better than hope however
is action. In years past COA has encouraged Connecticut birders to go out
during the month of January and find as many avian species as possible. The
search area could be the entire state or any county within the state. This
"Big January" contest was a fun way to get birders out in the field and to
compete in a friendly game with other birders. This competition has
motivated many birders and has been a source of real enjoyment. As we end a
year that has seen many of our priorities change and has impacted many of
our friends, family, and fellow citizens, we at COA feel "Big January 2021"
should be about more than just a friendly game. This time it should count
for more than just our lists.

As you all know, The Connecticut Bird Atlas Project has been in progress
since 2018 and was originally scheduled to run through 2020. With the
impacts resulting from the pandemic, it was decided to add a year to the
project. This project is one of the most meaningful opportunities for a
birder to contribute to the protection of our birds and important bird
habitat. With that in mind, COA leadership has decided to sponsor a "Big
January" contest that is based on contributing to the Atlas Project.
Participants will earn points for performing a one hour survey in atlas
blocks that need the most attention. These blocks are broken into two
categories; one is blocks that are less than 20% complete for late winter,
and the other is blocks that are between 20% and 50% complete for late
winter. COA and a very generous anonymous donor are providing 5 copies of
the exciting new book "All the Birds of the Worlds" as well as a pair of
Vortex 8x42 Diamondback binoculars as prizes. A follow up email will be
posted shortly with the actual rules of the competition, how prizes will be
awarded (hint: one will be a "Young Birder" category), and an updated map
of blocks-in-play will be made available to help birders quickly see where
to perform surveys to earn points. So watch CTBirds for the official rules
of play post coming soon.

The start of a new year often engenders hope which is something we all need
right now. Now more than ever we can be the agents of hope ourselves.
Please join us in making a visible statement that we believe our birds
matter, our natural world matters, and we are willing to act on our
beliefs. Let's start 2021 off with the best "Big January" yet!

Dave Provencher
Member COA Board of Directors
Southeast Coordinator CT Bird Atlas Project
Member Avian Records Committee of Connecticut
CTBirds Moderating Team
Most importantly, a simple soul who loves birds
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