Saturday, January 29, 2011

Plans for Big Year

I have been birding in Pennsylvania since the start of the new year. I have totaled 78 species across the state so far, with the majority coming from the State College area and Presque Isle SP near Erie, PA. I am hoping to reach 100 species before spring break.

The week of March 7, I will be birding near Kearney, Nebraska with Nate Fronk, Drew Weber, and Emily Thomas. We will be in Kearney for the bird conference. I am going to attempt to reach 50 new year birds on the trip, which would put me at 150 species for the year.

With spring migration starting up at the end of March and continuing through the first couple weeks of May, I should be able to pick up another 50 plus species in Pennsylvania.

For the summer, I will be surveying for southwestern Willow Flycatchers on the Imperial National Wildlife Refuge and Cibola National Wildlife Refuge in Arizona. I will not have a personal vehicle while I am down there, so I hope that my coworkers will travel to southeast Arizona, southern California, and other cool bird places throughout the summer.

Once back in Pennsylvania, which should be around August 10, I plan on spending a week in Maine birding and site seeing. I know that Acadia National Park will be on my list to visit. I should be able to pick up a fair number of year birds there.

I will be birding in Centre County throughout fall migration as I will be attending Penn State for my last semester. I will be able to pick up many migrating songbirds as well as raptors.

For Thanksgiving break, a few fellow birders and I are thinking about a trip to southern New Jersey or Maine to do some early winter birding and to pick up a few year birds.

Over Christmas break, we are thinking about a trip to either south Texas or southern Florida to bird for a week and to relax from school as the semester will be done.

In the end, I am trying for over 400 species, but could be pushing 450 by the end of the year if all plans work out. I am counting all species heard and seen.


  1. I think we are gonna have a good challenge getting to 150 at Kearney. Always worth trying though :)

  2. Yeah I know it's going to be a challenge, but that's why we have a passion/obsession for birds right?

  3. Looks like you are getting close to 100 before Kearney. Think there are 50 new species for us to get out there?