Bird Calling Contest a Fun Part of Shorebird Festival

Ariel Van Cleave

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Host David Aplin (left) records a contestant's bird call (Ariel van Cleave photo)

     Birders from across the country were in Homer over the weekend for the Kachemak Shorebird Festival. A bird calling contest at Homer Brewing Company was among the weekend’s events.

     A rowdy crowd of about 50 people gathered at the brewery Friday night. There were birders from places like Homer, Soldotna, Fairbanks and Girdwood on hand to compete for bragging rights. There were plenty of species that night, like the Willow Ptarmigan, the Sandhill Crane, the Black-Capped Chickadee and even Donald Duck. 

     The contest started a little later than planned because the MC for the evening, David Aplin, was busy cajoling contestants into signing up. Once enough names filled the basket, the crowd was introduced to the panel of esteemed judges. One was a former winner, another a US Fish and Wildlife biologist and the third judge was with a binoculars company called Eagle Optics. One by one the contestants came up, introduced themselves and performed their calls.

     The judges deliberated and tallied the scores of the roughly 20 callers. The big winner of the night: The Black-Capped Chickadee.


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