What is a bird Race
Avian Race - This is a competitive race that
hobbyist and enthusiast got involved using birds as subject. Perhaps the most
notable of Avian Race is the Pigeon Race. In this events, trained pigeons are
taken far away from a common destination by their owners to a far way starting
point. The Pigeon would find their way back in a form of a race to get "home".
This sort of events is held in several places around the world.
The second type of "Bird Race" which is lesser known and
confined to a group of enthusiast is not so much heard of. Even the term "Bird
Race" is not common, as this is localized events, on the internet, sites
from the Asian region is mentioned. This is an event where
participants are using bird as a topic and on the contrary, the participants
themselves are racing to record the highest number of birds that they have
sighted within the stipulated rules.
How is it done?
Bird Race is an event when participants join the
competition in teams, usually group of 3 persons, to watch and count the numbers
of birds seen within a specified confine and within a stipulated person. The
rules are strict but it is a fun event with the aim of stimulating interest in
bird watching. For new comers and curious enthusiast, it is chance to learn
about the nature existing in the region, the amount of bird life and thus
gaining support for the conservation of nature and environment
The task of a Bird Race the task is simply to
see as many bird species as possible
within the stipulated time period. It is a race
among the teams. Beside the usual crowd of bird lovers, these days there are
more bird-watching done by photographers but on these occasions, they would rather
not waste time capturing the birds but leave their expensive equipment at
home. They would trod along forest trails and across swamps. Then at this
period, though the northern wintering period is over, there would also be
another set migrant birds to be picked up.
Here are some of the arrangement for the race and also
guidelines for the competition.
Each team remains as a single unit for the
entire period of the "Race" and chooses a bird's name to identify themselves. The team
members can be anyone with varying degree of experiences in bird watching - the committee then will vet and allocate status of
competency to the team. According to experiences of the team members, the team
may be categories as advance, novice & locals. Then a group for students
rode piggy back.
The Bird Race in Frasers Hills for example, starts off at
2.00pm on Saturday and ends at Noon on Sunday. The birding area is easily
confined to the area of the hills resorts plus the 2 roads leading up and down to
the Main Raub/Kuala Kubu Bharu Road. The cut off points would be the 2 junctions.
This rules may not be followed by other organizers. In other Bird Race,
there is no specific area, teams can bird anywhere but just bring in the
numbers. I personally find this system with closely supervised area should bring in more consistencies
and would generate comparable results. At the end chances and incidences of disputes,
taken care of by the system itself.
The team all would be supplied with a Bird List of Frasers
Hills as a guide. Birds sighted need not be from within the list but the
adjudicators would decide that relevance of the name of any new birds, not
mentioned in the list. Winning would judged by the highest numbers of birds
sighted after vetting by the team of adjudicator.
Control & Rewards System
Each Team will be provided with a Bird Logbook
with appropriately marked columns for reporting observations. At
strategic points around the resort area, Marshalls would be
stationed at for birders to log in at the check point.
Participating team need not follow a time schedule nor following
a specific route to meet "time intervals" at the Marshalling
points which are set purely as another form of verification of
the sightings on recorded. At the end of the Race, the Logbook
is the record for deciding the winners. Information needed in
the Logbook are quite basic as to the time and location where
the birds are spotted. The "Dos & Don't" which can be taken as
the Rules for the Bird Race could come up to 20 items, more a
guidelines than rules. I have downloaded a copy from the
Langkawi Bird Race as sample
Level Of Participation.
The level of participation is measured by the numbers of
teams entered for the professional segment. Made up of Birders
in Malaysia to international guests. This could be any where
between 25-45 teams. Then there will be another group for Novice
which is smaller in numbers. Lastly, there is another segment
made up of teams from the various schools. This too is a fairly
large group. In total, the whole resort area would be filled
with teams of 3 person in each walking around. More often than
there could be a few teams gathering in a cluster if the area
has active bird life at the time.