Migration Madness, that is! Every year the Cornell Lab of Ornithology has a feature called March Migration Madness on their Facebook page. It is feature is based off of the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) March Madness basketball tournament. In the Lab’s version, the “Tweet 16” (instead of the “Sweet 16”) face off to see who the champion will be. There are two birds in each round and voters choose their favorite bird. The winner moves onto the next round until there are two competitors left. Then there is a final vote for the winner.
Last year was the “Centennial Edition” because the Lab was celebrating its hundredth year. The “Chirpionship Game” was between the Peregrine Falcon and the Great Horned Owl. The 2015 winner was the Great Horned Owl. This year’s theme is the “Reigning Champs” vs. the “Underbirds”. The “Reigning Champs” have all been winners in rounds of past “Madness” tournaments. All the birds “competing” this year will be featured in the Lab’s coloring book that will be coming out sometime in the future.
Today is actually Round 3. It’s been a bit of a hectic week for me, so I haven’t been on my Facebook much the past two days and missed the first two rounds. Round One was the Northern Cardinal vs. Cedar Waxwing with the Waxwing coming out on top. Round Two was the Ruby-throated Hummingbird vs. Pileated Woodpecker. (That one would have been an easy pick for me…you all know I love Pileated Woodpeckers). The Pileated won round two.
The competitors for Round 3 are the Great Blue Heron vs. Bald Eagle. I have to admit, this was a tough choice for me. Both birds are magnificent and fascinating. I decided to vote for Team Heron (another bird that I’ve covered here on the blog).
The Migration Madness is fun and easy to participate in. Go to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Facebook page and click on the Migration Madness pictures. You can click on the pictures of each bird, read their information, and click “Like” on the picture that you want to win. Easy! The results are posted the following day. You can download the bracket page with all the rounds and birds on the Lab’s Facebook page (since I’m a bird nerd, I printed it out and I still have last year’s with all the winners and my votes haha).
To learn more, check out this link.
March is a really exciting time of year for birding. I’m glad the “migration madness” has started at both the Lab and in the field!