The Rules

The June Challenge is a friendly competition designed to keep us birding through the summer heat rather than cowering indoors like a bunch of, pardon my French, non-birders. For those of you where it isn't so hot, good for you. The aim of the competition is for each individual contestant to see as many species as possible within the boundaries of his or her county/region (I say region for those not in a country with counties) between June 1st and June 30th. The rules were laid down in 2004 by Alachua's Becky Enneis, who originated the Challenge:

  1. Count only birds found within a single county/region, ideally the one you live in. Explore your home turf and find some new birding spots. Doing more than one county is permissible, but make sure each is assigned to the correct region.
  2. Each bird on your list must be seen, not just heard. There have been complaints in the past about the no-heard-birds rule. The most substantial objection involved the possibility that secretive birds would be harassed until they came into view. To this I'll simply say: Don't do that. Respect the birds. Use tapes judiciously and avoid harassment. Rely on patience and birding skill.
  3. You'll be competing with birders in your own county/region to see who can amass the longest individual list, but let the others know if you find something good so they can go out and look for it. It is, after all, a friendly competition. (A word about the individual competition. Some birders don't like it, but it's crucial to the Challenge. Counties with spirited competition make the most exciting discoveries, because the birders are always out looking for something new to beat their competitors. So the competition is both (a.) beside the point and (b.) absolutely essential. Both.)
  4. Any free-flying bird is countable for the purposes of the Challenge, the website will keep track of how many, in the USA, ABA-countable and non-countable species are on your list. The website is capable sorting and applying different list to your Observations.
  5. Make sure to add your observations by the end of the day July 1st.

Last year there were 102 submissions from 24 Florida counties, plus submissions from counties in Delaware, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Hampshire, and New York. The results were reported here: 2015 June Challenge Results

Results entered here on this site will be downloadable by participants now and in the future.

Hints for new Challengers: Bird as much as you can during the first and last weeks of the month, to get late spring and early fall migrants. Those of you in landlocked counties, check your big lakes for coastal strays like gulls, terns, and pelicans. -Rex Rowan

I would like to thank Rex Rowan for his leadership in managing this friendly completion. I hope you all find this website helpful as you participate in June Challenge. Please let me know of difficulties using the site and suggestions that would make it better. Trey Mitchell - Miami-Dade County, Florida

I've been trying to do this website for several years. This year I finally got to the place where I made the time to get it going. The site is not complete but it is ready to Register Users, Receive Observations and shortly will present the observations in a fun informative way.


What Counts and What Doesn't

The June Challenge has its own counting rules, which are fairly simple. At the end of the month we ask that participants submit their lists in this format: "Total species (ABA-countable species / ABA-non-countable species)." So if I saw 100 species of native birds, plus free-flying Indian Peafowl and Gray Crowned-Crane, I'd report "102 (100/2)."

What counts:

ABA-countable species that you see. The ABA checklist is here, in case you have any questions. This category includes Whooping Crane, feral Muscovy Duck, Mallard, and Canada Goose, as well as ABA-accepted exotics like Monk Parakeet and Nanday Parakeet.

ABA-non-countable species that you see, IF they are free flying and self supporting (i.e., not pinioned, not fed by an individual or a municipality).

What doesn't count:

ABA countable/non-countable birds that you only hear.


Birds that are identifiable only to genus or a higher taxonomic category, like "tern sp."

Rex Rowan

Participant Images