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Birders in competition


July 26, 2012
For the fourth consecutive year, the Grosse Pointe Woods team of birders won the annual Grosse Pointe Birding Challenge.

Led by Rosann Kovalcik, the May 14 competition pit teams from the Grosse Pointes in a seven-hour race to find as many bird species as possible between 5 a.m. and noon in their respective communities.

At noon teams gathered to tabulate results, declare a winner and exchange stories. The challenge has become a spring tradition for the Grosse Pointe Audubon members. The event is held in the spring because of the migrating birds passing through the community.

The Woods team won by spotting 67 species. The Grosse Pointe Farms team finished second with 50 species and the Grosse Pointe Park team finished third with 41 species. The team from the City of Grosse Pointe saw 34 species.

Kovalcik said she was concerned she could lose this year's competition because she saw considerably fewer species than in previous years. Her birding partner, Jon Stasevish, and other teams had the same problem, as numbers were down for all teams.

Kovalcik started in her yard knowing she could hear the common nighthawk calling from its nesting site on Ferry Elementary School's roof. At the Lochmoor Club she spotted migrating warblers and at Grosse Pointe Woods' Lake Front Park she found a green-winged teal on Lake St. Clair.

Grosse Pointe Farms' team member Mark O'Keefe saw 50 species of birds, including four different species of woodpeckers on the Country Club of Detroit grounds. Mike and Judy Florian and Trina Bresser Matous, the Grosse Pointe Park team ,spotted a northern parula warbler in a tree on Westchester.

Bill Rapai of the City of Grosse Pointe team, found 34 species, including a scarlet tanager in his backyard.

For more information about the local audubon club, visit gpaudubon.


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