The June Challenge begins Thursday, June 1st and extends through the month. June is historically one of the slowest months for birding in Florida. Back in 2004, Alachua Audubon originated this friendly competition, meant to build your birding skills and keep you engaged. Each birder picks any county in the state and tries to compile the largest list of species for that area during the month.
All native birds are countable and follow the American Birding Association (ABA) checklist. If your local population of an exotic species is recognized as established by the ABA, then any member of that population is ABA-countable. For instance, a bird belonging to an established population of Monk Parakeets would be ABA-countable. An escaped Monk Parakeet would not be. A Mute Swan at Lake Eola is not part of an established population and would not be ABA-countable.
List your ABA countable species, and then your non-native non-ABA birds. An important twist for the June Challenge is that you must see the bird, not just hear it.
The Great Florida Birding Trail now posts a complete set of rules. Orange Audubon is offering a trophy to the adult and youth (under 18) member who see the most ABA birds in June in one Florida county. To qualify, please submit your list to the previous link by midnight July 2nd. Also email your ABA countable/noncountable total and county to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Orange Audubon Society will hold a June Challenge Celebration and bird walk on July 22nd at Trimble Park