Luke Cole Memorial Challenge Wrap-up
- Hi all,
The Luke Cole Memorial Challenge was conducted over the weekend of September 26th-27th. The spirit and generosity of the California birding community has probably never been on display at the level it was that weekend. Literally hundreds of birders, many of whom knew Luke and some of them who didn't, sifted through nearly all of California's counties in search of as many species as possible in a 48-hour period. Many of those birders were organized by volunteer coordinators who also compiled county lists. We wish we could thank everyone who participated!
Don Roberson has posted a nice page about Luke and the effort in Monterey County on his website at:
Luke's webpage is still active and highly entertaining. There you can
see just how obsessed with Root Beer Luke truly was, as well as view a list of links to other Luke Coles around the world (!).
His website is at:
The cumulative list has settled in at between 385 and 387 species! This is a lot more than I had guessed and not far from 400, which is where Alan Hopkins, one of the organizers of the event, set the bar. The list includes 24 species of duck, 11 of heron and egret, 18 of vulture and raptor (we include here wild-fledged California Condors), 38 of shorebird, 21 of gull and tern, 10 of owl, 14 of woodpecker, 15 of flycatcher, 10 of vireo, 10 of crow and jay, 25 of warbler, and 23 of sparrow.
Please note that the cumulative list currently includes Flesh-footed Shearwater and Bell's Vireo. Did anyone actually see those species during the challenge? If so, please let us know. If neither was seen, we tallied 385.
Amongst the notables was Manx Shearwater, Blue-footed and Brown boobies, Broad-winged Hawk, Crested Caracara, American Oystercatcher, Hudsonian Godwit, Great-crested Flycatcher, White-eyed, Yellow-throated, Blue-headed and Philadelphia vireos, Gray Catbird, Brown Thrasher, Painted Bunting, and Dickcissel.
In addition to the cumulative state list, we have also tabulated lists for each of California's 58 counties. Many of the lists are probably about as complete as possible (with Monterey far ahead of the field at 232 species) but others have a lot of room to grow. If you were in the field during the challenge, please look over the lists for the counties you were in and see if you have anything to add. If you do, please email me at countylines@....
To view the cumulative state lists and the individual county lists, please go to:
Some of you will probably need to right click on the highlighted word "here" to open the file.
Finally, this is the last call to make a pledge to the Center for Race, Poverty and the Environment, the organization Luke co-founded in 1989. To do so, please go to:
A heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped with this event!