Let me start out by saying, Merlins just may be my favorite bird. They have skill, looks, and most importantly- "tude". They don't really give a fuck about anything, and just keep-on, keeping on. I can only hope that when I am finally smote from the earth for my various blasphemy's, that the many hands of Vishnu decide to remold me into a merlin for my next life.
Oh yah, Purple Finch today too.
2013 and beyond
It's pretty simple: the most birds seen or heard from one's yard during 2013 will be the "winner". Want in? O.k....then do it despite that.
2013 promises to be a lot less mean but still a carbon-free birding competition, even if slightly less exciting than a MEGA x EPIC hybrid.