Laura Erickson's For the Birds

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

BIGBY--what a great idea!

Here's a cool idea, a Big Green Big Year, or BIGBY for short. On their website they say:
This is a low-key, friendly bit of birding rivalry that is not especially original but which seems appropriate in these days of carbon emissions and climate change. If you have ever felt even a tiny bit guilty about driving or flying to see a good bird (or several) why not join us in a year of carbon-neutral birding?

There are no prizes other than the glory - but we can have fun and keep fit.

The Big Green Big Year has the acronym BGBY and is therefore pronounced Bigby* ... and it is simply a Big Year in which you only count species seen within walking or cycling distance of your home. As simple as that, no dashing off to the far corners of the planet burning fossil fuels as you go.

There are two categories:
The Walking Bigby

During which you list all species seen in 2008 which have been reached on foot from home. If you were traveling by any other means when seen then the bird won’t count for your Bigby.

The Self-Propelled Bigby
This will allow you to extend your range a bit and include birds reached by either walking, on bicycle or by canoe.

Should be enjoyable … start with your garden list (scope here for a Big Year based around birds seen while holding a glass of something alcoholic perhaps?) and simply work outwards. Just make sure that you are always travelling under your own steam.

So contact the organizers by email and sign up! I'll be starting a brand new yard list in Ithaca where I'll be living very close to some quality habitat, and can also count birds when I bike to work!