Birding’s Big Game


Sunday, April 13th, 2014.

UPDATE: For any sponsors, I can offer a few rewards.  Sponsor here by selecting my name (Rob Furrow) and paying online, or by mail, phone, or in person.  Thanks!

  • <$50 — A big hug, and a slice of homemade Meyer lemon tart.
  • $50-99 — A guided 2-hour bird walk at a local natural area of your choosing.
  • $100+ — Your choice of a morning field lesson on bird song and sound recording, or a half-day birding adventure (by bike, maybe?).

Stanford and UC Berkeley are football rivals, and their annual game is called “The Big Game”.  This year, the Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society (SCVAS) and the Golden Gate Audubon Society have initiated a big game of their own.  Birding’s Big Game.  On April 13th, a team at Stanford will be competing with a team at Berkeley to see which campus has more birds.  As a daily birder of Stanford’s campus, I can safely say that they’ve got no chance, but who knows?

This will be a four hour competition.  I’ll be coordinating Stanford’s side of things, and we’ll be scouring the dish’s grassland, our arboretum, lake lagunita, and the array of plantings throughout campus.  I hope we find our local Peregrine Falcons, as well as a few of our territorial California Thrashers.  And California Quail are always a treat when they show up on campus!

To make things even better, this is a fundraiser for the respective audubon societies!  Check out these links If you’d like to join the Stanford team (absolutely ANYONE IS WELCOME) or sponsor us.  Thanks, I’m looking forward to seeing you in the field!

Note: unlike most SCVAS birdathons, we’re focusing on maximizing coverage and participation, so we might break into multiple groups as the morning goes on.  (Berkeley is planning to do the same thing.)  But rest assured that a mighty crew of seasoned Stanford birders will be heading up each sub-team.

-Rob Furrow


7 thoughts on “Birding’s Big Game

    1. Rob Post author

      Good question. Our trade was Stanford’s dish in exchange for the gardens. Jasper Ridge would definitely add a lot (mostly at Searsville Lake), but I think the current boundaries lead to a more balanced competition. As a bonus, the current boundaries mean we can do everything easily on foot (maybe with one bike crew to check some distant corners).

  1. Maureen Lahiff

    We on the Berkeley team gave up the Richmond Field Station (a bay shoreline location), which I consider a fair trade for the Stanford team not going to Jasper Ridge.

    The UC Botanical Garden is contiguous with campus.

    1. Rob Post author

      Yeah, we’ll have to see how the competition plays out this time. If things don’t feel balanced, we can always tweak things next year!

      1. http://www./

        Lol …. Now we know Zac and J,T just want have the big roles…. Remember guys in a movie every roles is important. And Robert works until he was 16 years old to be an actor so Zac have the same experience….


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