Laura Erickson's For the Birds

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Don't forget to BIGBY!!

Just 5 more days till we can start Bigbying! The BIGBY ("Big Green Big Year") is a new kind of "Big Year." Richard Gregson, BIGBY Coordinator, writes:
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?

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 those species seen within walking or cycling distance of your home or principle place of work. As simple as that, no dashing off to the far corners of the planet burning fossil fuels as you go.

As of this writing, 73 birders have signed up, but Wisconsin and Illinois are not yet represented, nor is Duluth. I signed up to do mine in Ithaca. I'm leaving on the first, but it will take 3 or 4 days to get there. It will be exciting starting a whole new yard list. I'm leaving Duluth with my yard list at 162--I wonder if I'll ever be able to match that in Ithaca?

The BIGBY provides three different plans:
The Walking Bigby

During which you list all species seen in 2008 which have been reached on foot from home or from your regular place of work. If you were traveling by any other means when seen then the bird won’t count for your Bigby. Walking, of course, includes snowshoeing as well

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 .... in winter skis are also usable for this category. Walking Bigby birds can be included.

The Public Transport Bigby

This one has been added by public request ... so long as you travel to your walking/cycling/canoeing site by bus or by rail (but absolutely not by taxi, friend's car or plane) and return in a similar fashion then you are doing a Public Transport Bigby. Walking Bigby and Self-propelled Bigby birds can be included.

Sign up for the 2008 BIGBY here. Get YOUR city on the map!