Our 24-hour recreational birding competition

2015 Highlights


Species Seen

Funds Raised

2016 Muckrace Logo

20th Annual Muckrace — September 16-17th, 2016

In 2015, the top team found 121 species and we raised over $10,000 for habitat and public access projects in the Complex. In one year, as many as 192 species have been found by the combined efforts of all the teams, the most ever tallied by one team was a remarkable 148.

New in 2016 is a ‘Collegiate Division’

New in 2016, we have added a Collegiate Division for teams made up of currently enrolled undergraduate and graduate students from a single College or University. We hope this will motivate students to test their knowledge of bird identification in a fun environment.

We also believe there’s an opportunity to start a friendly inter-collegiate competition for bragging rights as the best local birding college. We even have a Collegiate Division Trophy suitable for parading through campus.

Help us spread the word about this new Collegiate Division!

Mid-September is a great time to be birding at the Complex.

The Montezuma Wetlands Complex is a globally-significant Important Bird Area and supports a million or more waterfowl of at least 30 species, thousands of inland migrating shorebirds, a myriad of ‘confusing’ fall warblers and many rare and endangered species.

The 242-square mile Montezuma Focus Area, which was highlighted under the North American Waterfowl Management Plan as critical migratory bird habitat, serves as the boundary for the Muckrace.

What is the Muckrace?

Teams bird together from 7:00 PM Friday until 7:00 PM Saturday, trying to locate as many bird species as possible. Winning teams over the past several years have identified as many as 148 species, and collectively, as many as 192 species have been seen by the 15 to 28 teams, in a single day

The winning competitive team in 2015 logged 121 species. But, being an expert is hardly a requirement for enjoying the Muckrace. Many other birders of all ages and experience joined in on the fun under the various recreational categories, including the newest ‘Photo Category’, where participants count only the birds they can identify and photograph.

Teams can register under several categories

  • Competitive
  • Youth
  • Low-Carbon
  • Photo
  • Family/Mentor
  • Recreational
  • Collegiate

In 2015, participants raised over $10,000 for habitat and public access projects in the Complex.

The 19th Annual Muckrace Musings

The 19th Annual Muckrace Musings

This ‘Big Day’, 24-hour birding event and premier fundraising effort of the Friends of the Montezuma Wetlands Complex continues to provide good times for birders of all ages. Although rain paid a visit mid-day on Saturday, and returned with about a half-hour to go, spirits were not dampened for the all-time record numbers of 135 participants and 37 teams.

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The 18th Annual Muckrace Musings

The 18th Annual Muckrace Musings

Cool weather prevailed and a mid-day rain shower confounded some of the best laid birding strategies, but a crazy good time was had by all at the 2014 Montezuma Muckrace. This ‘Big Day’, 24-hour birding event is the premier fund-raising effort of the Friends of the...

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Forms & Rules

Items for Muckrace Enthusiasts

Past Muckrace Musings for your enjoyment: