Birders Attempt to Set Guinness Book Record

Posted on September 17, 2011

Lakeside, Ohio - “Who Cooks for YOU? Who Cooks for YOU-ALL!” That is how bird watchers interpret the rhythmic hooting call of the barred owl, one of the more common nocturnal bird species. If there is a barred owl anywhere near Lakeside, Ohio’s Hoover Auditorium on Saturday, Sept. 17, it will hear plenty of its own call.

Attendees at the 2011 Midwest Birding Symposium (MBS) will attempt to set a world record for the most people performing a bird call in unison that evening. The group has chosen the barred owl for its easy-to-imitate call.

Bird call expert Nicole Perretta will teach the call to the assembled audience of birders, and then lead them in the record-setting attempt. This record attempt has received approval from officials at The Guinness Book of World Records, and symposium officials will be carefully documenting the evening, as required by the Guinness Book.

“We wanted to do something fun that everyone could participate in -- and most bird watchers know how to imitate a bird or two,” said Bill Thompson III, one of the MBS coordinators. “I can’t wait to hear what we sound like!”

The record attempt, scheduled for 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 7, will be witnessed by a local government official, notarized and recorded in both audio and video formats as part of the record documentation requirements.

The MBS is a biennial event for bird watchers. The 2009, 2011 and 2013 symposia are hosted at Lakeside, Ohio by Bird Watcher’s Digest, The Ohio Ornithological Society and the Lakeside Association.

More than 1,000 birders from across the continent and beyond will be flocking to Lakeside for the MBS, which runs from Thursday, Sept. 15 through Sunday, Sept. 18, 2011.

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