Morgantown Birding Cup

May 15-16, 2020



Thank you for your interest in the Morgantown Birding Cup! We hope this will become an annual event to raise funds for the West Virginia Young Birders Club, which is currently operated as an outreach project of the Avian Conservation Center of Appalachia, a Morgantown-based 501c3 nonprofit organization.


Although there is no fee to participate, in the spirit of raising funds for the Young Birders Club, teams are encouraged to solicit pledges and contributions, or to make in-kind donations of at least $50 per team.


The Morgantown Birding Cup will be awarded to the team that counts the most bird species during the 24 hours of the event. All teams and participants must abide by the following rules, which are adapted from the American Birding Association’s Big Day Count rules and the World Series of Birding.


  1. Participants


  1. Teams must consist of a minimum of two individuals at all times but no more than five individuals over age eighteen. Any number of individuals under age 18 may participate on a team (in other words, you can bring your kids.) Submit a list of members no later than four days prior to the start; please email Katie Fallon to register your team at


  1. Any number of non-birding participants may accompany a team, but these participants must not assist a team in locating or identifying birds. A designated driver who is a member may assist in the identification or location of birds, as long as they drive safely.


  1. Participants may join the team throughout the day, as long as the birds sighted and recorded are in accordance with the counting rules.



  1. Event Schedule


All counting must take place between 6:00PM on Friday, May 15, and 6:00PM on Saturday, May 16, 2020 (twenty-four hours). All teams must turn in their checklists at the Outdoor Classroom at Ridge Way Farm (217 Morgan Hill Road in Cheat Lake) by 6:30PM Saturday to be official and to enjoy food and good company.


Friday, May 15, 6:00PM – Start counting birds from anywhere within our count area

Saturday, May 16, 6:00PM – Stop counting birds


6:30PM – Turn in checklist at the Outdoor Classroom in Cheat Lake


6:00PM-8:00PM – Share stories, review checklists, eat food, have fun, and award prizes!



III. Geographic Area


  1. Only birds recorded in the five West Virginia counties in Mountaineer Audubon’s region will count: Monongalia, Marion, Preston, Harrison, and Taylor.


  1. Teams may begin and end their route anywhere in the count area, but must finish counting promptly at 6:00PM on Saturday and arrive at Ridge Way Farm by 6:30PM.



  1. Counting


  1. Count only full species as indicated by the current checklist.


  1. Birds must be conclusively identified by sight or sound.


  1. Introduced or reintroduced species may be counted providing that they appear on the current checklist.


  1. Birds counted must be alive, wild, and unrestrained. Bird in cages or eggs do not count.


  1. Electronic or recorded bird calls may NOT be used to attract birds or entice them to sing during the Birding Cup. You may use recordings to help you identify birds but only as a reference.


  1. All birds tallied must be seen or heard by at least two members of the team. Birds only seen or heard by one member do not count.



  1. Travel


  1. All vehicles except aircraft or drones may be used. Participants are not required to travel in the same vehicle so long as they make an effort to stay together.


  1. Team members must remain within shouting distance of each other while birding.


  1. Please travel safely and use good judgment. All teams must comply with West Virginia highway, biking, and boating laws.



  1. Conduct and Ethics


  1. Team members must remain within voice contact of all other members at all times.


  1. Team members must count only birds personally and unquestionably identified.


  1. Team members must be familiar with the rules before the event.


  1. Each participant must maintain proper birding ethics at all times and be good ambassadors. A copy of the American Birding Association Code of Ethics can be found here:


  1. All teams should enjoy themselves and keep in mind that this is a fundraiser for kids rather than a strict competition.



Thank you for your support – good luck and good birding!

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