Cal v. Stanford bird-watching competition is a real thing

Every November, we have our Big Game, our chance to do battle with Stanford and become the reigning victors on the football field. But this April, we are participating in the “Big Game” but for small game — birds, that is.

A hooded oriole.

A hooded oriole.

That’s right. This year, there will be a Cal v. Stanford bird-watching. The Golden Gate Audobon Society, a conservation organization based in and around our Bay Area since 1917, tries to protect endangered and threatened environments and the species of wildlife (especially birds) that live in them. Every April, it holds a monthlong fundraiser called the “Birdathon” to raise money to continue to promote its causes. There are already 21 existing competitions, but this year will be the first time a Cal v. Stanford bird-watch-off will take place.

UC Berkeley Botanical Gardens, a key bird-watching location.

UC Berkeley Botanical Gardens, a key bird-watching location.

So how does it work?

On April 13, members of the Golden Gate Audubon Society will see if they can spot more birds on UC Berkeley’s campus than the Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society can on Stanford’s campus. The competition is four hours long, and the winner will be based on whichever team sees and identifies more unique species of birds, in addition to the number of birds each team sees overall. The avid bird-watching community that spans generations of UC Berkeley students and faculty will seek to observe and name  a variety of different species, considering that this upcoming time of year is prime bird-watching season because of spring migration patterns.

Clearly, we support the Golden Gate Audobon Society, which we believe has its priorities straight: Raise awareness for important environmental issues threatening us all, and beat Stanford.

Image Sources: grandmasandy+chuck, Kelly Colgan Azar

Contact Holly Secon at [email protected].