Starting a BGBY Year

I’ve decided to do a big year this year. More specifically I’ve decided to do a Big Green Big Year, in which one attempts to see as many birds as one can without the use of motorized conveyances. You can use a bicycle if you like, but I figure I have a better shot in the walking category, especially since my bicycle is still in pieces in my garage. I’m located more or less between a major regional park, an Audubon wildlife refuge, and a large university with a lot of green space. If I wanted to make a long hike of it, I could even reach the shore once or twice.

I’m starting a month late, since I didn’t move out here till February but I’m still doing pretty well. Limiting myself just to what I’ve seen and heard on foot from this location so far I have 63 species:

  1. Royal Tern
  2. Swan Goose
  3. Canada Goose
  4. American Wigeon
  5. Mallard
  6. Ruddy Duck
  7. Horned Grebe
  8. Eared Grebe
  9. Great Egret
  10. Snowy Egret
  11. White-faced Ibis
  12. American Coot
  13. Whimbrel
  14. Long-billed Curlew
  15. Ring-billed Gull
  16. Mourning Dove
  17. Rufous Hummingbird
  18. Black Phoebe
  19. American Crow
  20. Ruby-crowned Kinglet
  21. Western Bluebird
  22. European Starling
  23. Chipping Sparrow
  24. Song Sparrow
  25. Lesser Goldfinch
  26. Gadwall
  27. Northern Shoveler
  28. Pied-billed Grebe
  29. Great Blue Heron
  30. Turkey Vulture
  31. Anna’s Hummingbird
  32. Yellow-rumped Warbler
  33. Cackling Goose
  34. Egyptian Goose
  35. Double-crested Cormorant
  36. Osprey
  37. Red-shouldered Hawk
  38. Red-tailed Hawk
  39. Greater Roadrunner
  40. Nuttall’s Woodpecker
  41. Northern Flicker
  42. Hutton’s Vireo
  43. Common Raven
  44. Bushtit
  45. Orange-crowned Warbler
  46. Townsend’s Warbler
  47. Common Yellowthroat
  48. Spotted Towhee
  49. California Towhee
  50. White-crowned Sparrow
  51. House Finch
  52. Cinnamon Teal
  53. Green-winged Teal
  54. Bufflehead
  55. Black-crowned Night-Heron
  56. Black-necked Stilt
  57. American Avocet
  58. Spotted Sandpiper
  59. Greater Yellowlegs
  60. Tree Swallow
  61. Barn Swallow
  62. Marsh Wren
  63. Great-tailed Grackle

I’d be about 10 up on that if I’d just walked to the Sea & Sage field trip at San Joaquin this past Sunday instead of driving over.

My goal for the year is 200, but that might be a tad ambitious. Then again, maybe not. Prospect Park gets about that many every year, and the habitat around here is a lot more diverse than back in Brooklyn.

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