More Species than Ever on a Rainy Birding Cup 2017!

A recap of this year’s birding big day

A little bit of rain and cold can’t stop the incredible event that is the Birding Cup. Not even close. Over a hundred people took to the forests, fields, lakes, rivers, and wetlands of central Pennsylvania with binoculars in hand, some even insisting on traveling by bike or boat. Their shared goal: to find as many bird species as possible. And find them they did.


In fact, 2017’s Birding Cup broke another record: the total number of species found by all teams. At the end of the day, 194 species were tallied up, besting last year’s record-breaking total of 189. Holy crow!

This awesome event (now in its 28th year) is not just a great boon to citizen science with its invaluable data collection. It’s a great reason for families and friends to get outside and appreciate the many wonderful habitats of central Pennsylvania, and share their terrific stories with a great community at the end of the day.

And it’s Shaver’s Creek’s only annual fundraiser, with each team collecting pledges — this year, for the installation of bird-friendly glass in Shaver’s Creek’s renovation project! This glass will allow for clear seeing of birds through the window, while preventing deaths from collision!

(If you’d like to make a donation or follow up on a pledge, just click here!)


None of this would be possible without the support of our sponsors through donations, team prizes, and food for the birders. We can’t thank them enough: Wiscoy for Animals, Lost Creek Optics, Appalachian Outdoors, Purple Lizard Maps, Benjamin’s Catering, Collegiate Pride, Bobby Rahal Honda, Penns Valley Pharmacy, Millbrook Marsh Nature Center, and Honey Creek Bill & Beak!

Huge thanks are also in order for everyone who has donated or pledged to donate, the fabulous birders themselves, and the day-of team who greets the exhausted teams with fresh food and hot drinks.

And here’s this year’s winning teams:


The Birding Cup (top number of species seen, all counties): Psycho Killdeer — 142 species
Jon Kauffman, Lewis Grove, Joe Verica, Dennis McGillicuddy


The County Cup (top number of species seen in a single county): Keg Chukars — 129 species (Mifflin county)
Ian Gardner, Deuane Hoffman, Ted Nichols, Vince Pantanella


The Potter Mug (top number of species seen by a team with an average of less than two years’ experience birding): Ahh, Frigate! — 106 species
Joe Whitehead, Kyler Sonney, Dale Sonney


The Birding Boot (top number of species seen by teams with non-motorized transport): Tie between Weekend Migrants and Feathered Body Inspectors110 species
Weekend Migrants: Jen Steigerwalt, Matt Marsden, Lucy McClain, Nate McKelvey, Ben Steines / Feathered Body Inspectors (FBI): Brian Schmoke, John Carter, Lindera Carter, Sean Herrmann, Allie Causey

Read on for the full list of teams, and below that, the complete list of 194 species!

County Cup
Keg Chukars — 129 (Mifflin)
Juniata Juncos — 125 (Juniata)
Bad Optics — 122 (Huntingdon)
Not So Swifts — 101 (Centre)
Smokey and the Banders — 98 (Huntingdon)
Teatime Towhees — 95 (Centre)
Huntingdon Hawkeyes — 93 (Huntingdon)
Vulturosas — 90 (Huntingdon)

The Birding Cup
Psycho Killdeers — 142
Raiders of the Lost Lark — 135
Wingnuts — 132
Tick McGreer & the Kickers — 131
Todd Bird Club — 104
I.G.O.R. — 84
Indigo Hunting — 108
Sanibel Sandpeckers— 94
Robin-hooded Mergansers — 93
Good twEATS! — 66
Winging It (Cheep Dates) — 56

Potter Mug
Marge’s Mergansers — 79
Ahh, Frigate! — 106
Winging It (SEED) — 65

Birding Boot
Feathered Body Inspectors — 110
Weekend Migrants — 110
Red-rumped Irruptives — 101

Total Species List

Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Tundra Swan
Wood Duck
American Black Duck
Blue-winged Teal
Northern Shoveler
Green-winged Teal
Ring-necked Duck
Greater Scaup
Lesser Scaup
White-winged Scoter
Hooded Merganser
Common Merganser
Red-breasted Merganser
Ruddy Duck

Ring-necked Pheasant
Ruffed Grouse
Wild Turkey

Red-throated Loon
Common Loon
Pied-billed Grebe
Horned Grebe
Red-necked Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant

American Bittern
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Green Heron

Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Bald Eagle
Northern Harrier
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Cooper’s Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk
Broad-winged Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
American Kestrel
Peregrine Falcon

Virginia Rail
American Coot
Semipalmated Plover
Spotted Sandpiper
Solitary Sandpiper
Greater Yellowlegs
Lesser Yellowlegs
Least Sandpiper
Pectoral Sandpiper
Wilson’s Snipe
American Woodcock

Bonaparte’s Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Herring Gull
Caspian Tern
Black Tern
Common Tern

Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Black-billed Cuckoo
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Barn Owl
Eastern Screech Owl
Great Horned Owl
Barred Owl
Northern Saw-whet Owl
Common Nighthawk
E. Whip-poor-will
Chimney Swift
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher
Red-headed Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker

Eastern Wood-Pewee
Acadian Flycatcher
Least Flycatcher
Eastern Phoebe
Great-Crested Flycatcher
Eastern Kingbird
White-eyed Vireo
Yellow-throated Vireo
Blue-headed Vireo
Warbling Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Fish Crow
Common Raven
Horned Lark
N. Rough-winged Swallow
Purple Martin
Tree Swallow
Bank Swallow
Barn Swallow
Cliff Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
Red-breasted Nuthatch
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Carolina Wren
House Wren
Marsh Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Eastern Bluebird
Swainson’s Thrush
Hermit Thrush
Wood Thrush
American Robin
Gray Catbird
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
European Starling
American Pipit
Cedar Waxwing
Worm-eating Warbler
Louisiana Waterthrush
Northern Waterthrush
Blue-winged Warbler
Golden-winged Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler
Tennessee Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Hooded Warbler
American Redstart
Cape May Warbler
Cerulean Warbler
Northern Parula
Magnolia Warbler
Bay-breasted Warbler
Blackburnian Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Blackpoll Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Palm Warbler
Pine Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Yellow-throated Warbler
Prairie Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Canada Warbler
Yellow-breasted Chat
Eastern Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Field Sparrow
Vesper Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Grasshopper Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Lincoln’s Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Scarlet Tanager
Northern Cardinal
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Indigo Bunting
Red-winged Blackbird
Eastern Meadowlark
Rusty Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Orchard Oriole
Baltimore Oriole
Purple Finch
House Finch
Pine Siskin
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow


Surf Scoter
Forster’s Tern
Black Scoter
N. Bobwhite
Grey-cheeked Thrush