Perhaps the only president capable of holding his own on this blog, as he'd be ahead of some of us! (forwarding from NJ listserv):
Subject: T. Roosevelt's List of birds (White House Grounds)
From: Robert DeCandido PhD
Date: Thu, 4 Feb 2010 08:28:45 -0500
From the White House Grounds (52 acres and 93 species) - birds seen 1901 to 1908. There were a couple of posts on this several months ago with the publication of a book about TR...found this in the interim. As an aside, there is an "official" White House pamphlet published in about 1908 on the birds seen by Pres. TR - I think that one has a few more species...but this article may have been the genesis of the idea. President Roosevelt's List of Birds Seen in the White House Grounds and About Washington During His Administration (1901-1908) WHEN Mr. Richard Kearton, the English ornithologist and author, brought his wonderful motion pictures of bird-life to this country, he came directly to Washington, and gave his first exhibition at the White House to a small company of invited guests. President Roosevelt seemed to enjoy the entertainment immensely, and when it was over he congratulated Mr. Kearton warmly. Then the two became the center of a distinguished group of outdoor men, including Ambassador Bryce, and they talked for an hour on a variety of subjects,�beginning with snakes and ending with nature-faking. It was when the party was breaking up that I had an opportunity to speak with the President, and I asked him if I might make, from a magazine article of his, a list of the birds he mentioned having seen about the White House. I explained that I wanted it for a new edition of the local bird book, 'Birds of Washington and Vicinity. "Why yes," he answered cordially. "But I'll do better for you than that. I'll make you a list of all the birds I can remember having seen since I have been here." Then he said I had better remind him, as he might forget it, and he told me how to address a note so that it would come directly to him, without risk of falling into a secretary's waste-basket. I wrote the reminder, and it shows the President's characteristic promptness that within twenty-four hours after mailing it I received this list of ninety-three birds in his own handwriting. Where an unusual name is given, I have added another in brackets. What a Bush Sparrow was I did not know and could not find out, so I wrote Mr. Roosevelt again, but not until after he had left Washington and was at Oyster Bay engrossed with preparations for his African trip. I hardly expected a reply, but some weeks later received a note from the Outlook office saying the writer had been instructed by Mr. Roosevelt, before his departure, to say that a Bush Sparrow is a Field Sparrow. � Lucy W. Maynard, Washington, D. C. * (Denotes a species seen on White House grounds) 1. Night Heron. Five spent winter of 1907 in swampy country about one-half mile west of Washington Monument. 2. Mourning Dove. 3. Quail. [Bobwhite] 4. Ruffed Grouse. One seen on Rock Creek. 5. Sharp-shinned Hawk. 6. Red-shouldered Hawk. 7.*Sparrow Hawk [American Kestrel]. A pair spent the last two winters on and around the White House grounds, feeding on the Sparrows�largely, thank Heaven, on the English Sparrows. 8.*Screech Owl. Steady resident on White House grounds. 9.*Saw-whet Owl. A pair spent several weeks by the south portico of the White House, 1905. 10. Kingfisher. 11.*Yellow-billed Cuckoo. 12. Hairy Woodpecker. 13.*Downy Woodpecker. 14.*Sapsucker [Yellow-bellied]. 15.*Red-headed Woodpecker. Nests (one pair) on White House grounds. 16.*Flicker. Nests (several pairs) on White House grounds. 17. Whip-poor-will. 18. Nighthawk. 19.*Chimney Swift. 20.*Hummingbird. 21. Kingbird. 22. Great Crested Flycatcher. 23. Phoebe. 24. Wood Pewee. 25. Horned Lark. 26.*Crow. 27.*Fish Crow. 28.*Orchard Oriole. One pair nested in White House grounds. 29. Bobolink. 30. Red-winged Blackbird. 31.*Baltimore Oriole. 32. Meadowlark. 33.*Purple Grackle. Nests on White House grounds. Very abundant in early spring. 34.*Purple Finch. 35.*Thistle Bird (Goldfinch). 36. Vesper Sparrow. 37.*White-throated Sparrow. Sings; this year sang now and then all through the winter. 38.*Tree Sparrow. 39.*Chippie (Chipping Sparrow). Nests. 40. Bush Sparrow (Field Sparrow). 41.*Snow Bird (Junco). 42.*Song Sparrow. Nests. 43.*Fox Sparrow. 44.*Cardinal. 45. Towhee. 46.*Indigo-bird. Nests. 47. Tanager. 48. Purple Martin. 49.*Barn Swallow. 50. Tree Swallow. 51. Bank Swallow. 52.*Cedar Bird. 53. Logger-head Shrike. 54.*Red-eyed Vireo. Nests. 55.*Warbling Vireo. Nests. 56.*Black and White Warbler. Nests. 57.*Blue Yellow-backed Warbler (Parula Warbler). 58.*Cape May Warbler. 59.*Summer Yellowbird (Yellow Warbler). Nests. 60.*Black-throated Blue Warbler. 61.*Black-throated Green Warbler. 62.*Myrtle Warbler. 63.*Magnolia Warbler. 64.*Chestnut-sided Warbler. 65.*Bay-breasted Warbler. 66.*Blackpoll Warbler. 67.*Blackburnian Warbler. 68. Prairie Warbler. 69. Oven-bird. 70. Water Thrush. 71. Kentucky Warbler. 72.*Yellowthroat. 73. Chat. 74.*Blue-winged Warbler. 75.*Canadian Warbler. 76.*Redstart. Nests on White House Grounds. 77. Pipit. 78. Mockingbird. 79.*Catbird. Nests on White House grounds. 80. Thrasher. 81. House Wren. 82.*Carolina Wren. 83. Marsh Wren. 84.*Brown Creeper. 85.*White-breasted Nuthatch. 86.*Tufted Tit. Nests on White House grounds. 87.*Chickadee. 88.*Golden-crowned Kinglet. 89.*Ruby-crowned Kinglet. 90. Gnatcatcher. 91.*Wood Thrush. Nests on White House grounds. 92.*Bluebird. 93.*Robin. Nests on White House grounds. (Doubtless this list is incomplete; I have seen others that I have forgotten.) Theodore Roosevelt. March 27, 1908. From: Bird Lore 12 (2) March-April, 1910: pages 53-55.
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.