Contests

This page is for the listers. If Big Days, Big Years, and County Listing increase your enjoyment of birding, then this page is for you. Listing is a long-standing tradition in the sport of birding. Local birders continue to chase birds in the hopes of obtaining a new high count for a 24 hour period or at the end of a very long Big Year. Records were meant to be broken, and every birder involved in such a challenge knows the rewards and disappointments in trying to break previous records. This contest page is dedicated to all local listers and to those who attempt to break their records.

Most of the data on this page is culled from eBird, but there are serious birders out there who choose not to use eBird, so we’ve probably missed a few data points. Additions and corrections to these data should be sent to Mouser Williams (mouser@mouser.org).  

Los Alamos County Life Lists

Los Alamos County is not an easy county to accululate large species totals. While we have nearly 5,000′ of vertical extent within the county, we lack water habitats almost entirely. The table below lists everyone we’re aware of who has reported 150 or more species in the county in their lifetime.  

Rank Name Species
1 Stephen Fettig 237
2 Joe Fitzgibbon 226
3 Mouser Williams 221
4 Terry Hodapp 216
5 Dave Yeamans 197
6 Mary Brown 183
7 Carolyn Mangeng 178
8 Dale Spall 175
8 Bob Loy 175
10 Christopher Rustay 170
11 Craig Martin 162
12 Michael Smith 159
13 Brent Thompson 153
14 Rebecca Shankland 152
15 Jason Lott 150

This table was last updated on 23 Nov 2016. For a daily-updated version maintained by eBird (which includes species counts below 150 but which lacks any contributions from those who do not use eBird), click here.

A special recognition should be given to Christopher Rustay, the only person on this list who has never lived in Los Alamos County.

Los Alamos County Big Years

Like any Big Year, a Los Alamos County Big Year requires careful planning and dedication. One of the benefits of such a small county is that a Big Year in the county does not require an inordinate amount of travel time or expense. However, the relatively large vertical extent of the county packed into such a small space means that the birder must spend a lot of time going up and down, often on foot.  The paucity of water habitats means that a Big Year contender must visit what artificial bodies of water there are frequently hoping for that one vagrant shorebird or duck just visiting for a few hours. The table below lists everyone we’re aware of who has reported 100 or more species in the county in one calendar year. 

Rank Name Species Year
1 Mary Brown 183 2016
2 Mouser Williams 182 2016
3 Stephen Fettig 171 2013
4 Joe Fitzgibbon 162 2013
5 Terry Hodapp 158 2013
6 Dave Yeamans 151 2013
7 Bob Loy 150 2016
8 Jason Lott 150 2016
9 Carolyn Mangeng 134 2016
10 Craig Martin 134 2015
11 Dale Spall 132 2016
12 Brent Thompson 125 2015
13 Michael Smith 124 2015
14 Luke Laeser 121 2015
15 Jeff & Cheryl Heikoop 117 2016
16 Christopher Rustay 116 2016
17 Robin Gurule 112 2016
18 Bob Walker 107 2016
19 Steve Knox 106 2016
20 Wyatt Egelhoff 105 2015
21 Jake Turin 102 2015
22 Dave Krueper 101 2009

This table was last updated on 23 Nov 2016.

Los Alamos County Big Days

A Big Day in Los Alamos County inevitably means a lot of hiking, and generally with a hefty vertical component to it.  The time of year has an enormous impact on what species are available, so Big Days are split out here by month. As of this writing, only a few Big Days have been attempted. More are encouraged (preferably some that don’t include yours truly). 

Month Participant(s) Species Date
May Rustay & Williams 106 14 May 2016
June Egelhoff & Williams 94 8 Jun 2015
September Williams 41 24 Sep 2016
November Williams 49 25 Nov 2016

This table was last updated on 26 Nov 2016.