Fast Track Big Year Plans

Great Kiskadee displaying crown - Quinta Mazatlan - McAllen TX - 2012-12-12

Great Kiskadee displaying crown – Quinta Mazatlan – McAllen TX – 2012-12-12 photo by Greg Miller

Have you been following the Big Year drama this year?  Several birders are doing really Big Years and one, Neil Hayward is tied with Sandy Komito’s 1998 record at 745 species plus 3 provisional species (new birds for North America yet to be approved).  Will he break the record this year?  Time will tell.  You can read more about his Big Year here.

Hopefully you all have had a delightful Christmas with family and friends.  I have had a wonderfully quiet Christmas and some time to collect for next year.  Are you thinking about next year yet?  Do you have any birding goals?  Have you ever thought about a Big Year?  They can be awfully expensive.  Maybe you have fancied a smaller Big Year but didn’t know best how to go about getting to your goal.

Enter eBird, a fabulous Citizen Science project on a grand scale.  They collect birding checklists from around the world in an online database.  This data can be accessed by anyone, not just scientists.  It provides a terrific resource.  But can it make a plan for Big Years with goals for 300, 400, or 500 species?  The quick answer is, Yes.  Yes, it can.  That is what this post is about–Fast Track Big Year Plans for goals of 300, 400, and 500 species in the ABA Area (American Birding Association’s designation includes the Lower 48 United States plus all of Canada and Alaska).  Let’s get right to it: Continue reading

DIY Personal Ohio Big Year

Scarlet Tanager with food - Biggest Week 2012 - Magee Marsh OH - 2012-05-07

Scarlet Tanager with food – Biggest Week 2012 – Magee Marsh OH – 2012-05-07     photo by: Greg Miller

A Do-It-Yourself Personal Ohio Big Year? Ok. You’ve thought about it and then shoved it to the back of your mind. Too much responsibility and not enough time, you tell yourself. Or maybe you’re a birding novice and just need a place to start but you don’t have any idea how to go about this. Or maybe you’d like to do a personal big year but don’t have any inclination to make it competitive at the extreme level. Whatever your thinking, I am hoping to give you at least one or two angles on strategies for making your goals a reality.

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