Kansas Birding Winner Records More Than 330 Species

PRATT ­– Kathy Carroll, Bonner Springs, identified 334 unique species of birds in the Sunflower State last year while participating in the fifth annual Kansas Birding Big Year contest that ended on Dec. 31, 2017. Her efforts won 1st place in the intermediate category and was the overall high among all entrants. The Kansas Birding Big Year contest is an annual competition among birders in Kansas to see who can spot the most species in a calendar year. Winners of the 2017 contest listed below competed against 62 total entrants.

Adult Advanced

1st – Malcolm Gold, Overland Park, 332 species

2nd – Andrew Burnett, Erie, 307

3rd – Sue Newland, Wakarusa, 305

4th – Robert Penner, Ellinwood, 302

5th – Kevin Groeneweg, Wichita, 296

Adult Intermediate

1st – Kathy Carroll, Bonner Springs, 334 (High Overall)

2nd – Mickey Louis, Overland Park, 304

3rd – Jennifer Hammett, Shawnee, 294

4th – Kelli Egbert, Spring Hill, 286

5th – Linda Zempel, Topeka, 259

Adult Novice

1st – Allison Godek, Prairie Village, 297

2nd – David Kirsch, Overland Park, 270

3rd – Michael Bader, Great Bend, 234

4th – Suntesha Wustrack, Augusta, 221

5th – Walt Cochran, Gardner, 220


1st – Andrew Miller, Partridge, 272

2nd – Will Kirsch, Overland Park, 257

3rd – Sam Schermerhorn, Wamego, 232

4th – Lynnea Nelson, Carbondale, 208

5th – Michaela Gold, Overland Park, 193

6th – Ella Burnett, Erie, 162


1st – Dan Larson, Berryton, 255

2nd – Doris Burnett, Manhattan, 223

3rd – John Row, Manhattan, 191

Birds are counted from January 1 to December 31 of each year and entered through the website, www.ebird.org, a reporting program housed at Cornell University.

Apart from bragging rights, winners receive prizes from the KDWPT Education Section, and Acorn Naturalists of Tustin, CA, a supplier of resources for the trail and classroom. The winners of each of the three age classifications (and skill levels in the adult classification) will also receive matted and framed original drawings of native Kansas shorebirds, drawn and donated by Dr. Robert Penner. Dr. Penner is the land steward and avian projects coordinator for The Nature Conservancy at Cheyenne Bottoms.

To sign up for the 2018 contest, visit http://ksoutdoors.com/Services/Wildlife-Diversity/2018-Kansas-Birding-Big-Year and get counting.