YMOS Dominates the World Series of Birding Again

On Sat., May 12, 16 Maryland students participated in the 35th World Series of Birding in New Jersey. With students ranging from Garrett County to the Eastern Shore, 2 high school teams and 2 middle school teams competed in the 24-hour Big Day, trying to find as many species as possible. The 2 high school teams not only won 1st and 2nd in the high school division but recorded almost 20 species more than the highest scoring adult team. The 2 middle school teams placed 2nd and 3rd in the middle school division, actually scoring higher than most of the adult teams. While a beautiful day at times, 2 major thunderstorms and a tornado warning kept totals down somewhat.

The YMOS Marsh Gigglers comprised of Daniel Irons, Patrick Newcombe, Joshua Heiser, and Jonathan Irons, placed 1st in the High School Division with 199 species found statewide. With a total of 198, only one species less, the YMOS Mighty Merlins consisted of Sam Miller, Jerald Reb, Jasper Merry, and Aaron Graham. These teams were assisted by a team of mentors and drivers consisting on Mike Irons, Bryan Newcombe, Rob Miller, and Cliff Graham.

The middle school teams were restricted to a much smaller geographic area. The YMOS We Spotted Sandpipers recorded 156 species. Coached by Stella Tea and with Kevin Reb as driver, this team was composed of Josie Kalbfleisch, Nathan Tea, Aaron Reb, and Hannes Leonard. With 144 species, the YMOS The Moor(hen), the Harrier team was made up of Tully Hochhausler, Max Ramey, and Gabe Evans. They were driven by Tom Ramey with George Radcliffe as coach. Oliver Patrick, another YMOS student, participated with an adult team this year, also doing well.

The annual event draws birders from as far away as South Africa and Israel as well as serving as a major environmental fundraiser. Before the Big Day, the teams scouted potential areas and birds, with some students beginning the weekend before the event. For YMOS, the event caps off a year of trips and activities. Funds to get students to the event were raised in the March Birdathon, and the students send their sincere thanks to all who supported their efforts.