Thursday, December 17, 2015

2016 BIG YEAR plans

With El Nino raging, and the potential for an La Nina later this year (often, but not always follows an el nino) - I thought to myself, now is the time. Now is the time to do a big year. Not only that, but it's a leap year, meaning I'll have 366 days to break records. All the records.

It's not a decision I make lightly, and I've spent time consulting with my family to ensure that everyone is on board. Many who have come before detail the hardships associated with doing a big year and the stress it can put on your day to day activities.

The majority of big-year-patrons spend considerable amount of time on the fringes of their self-inflicted areas - such as the outer islands of Alaska in an ABA big year, or the hostile Mexico Michigan border for an Ontario attempt. In Ontario, my personal record is 301 species in a single year - a far cry from the records.

Throughout the year I may be chronicling my adventures on the blog in monthly updates - potentially with species totals and thoughts on what future months will hold.  Not unlike my 2015 Condo Big Year, there will be rules. They are:

1) - I will only count birds that I see while I'm standing in Ontario

2) - Taxonomy will follow the eBird checklist, unless I decide otherwise.

3) -  I will not take any trips specifically to add species to my big year

4) - I will not twitch anything

5) - It's gotta be fun

Be sure to check back as things unfold!!!


  1. A twitch-free big year - I like it! So, that means you are in for Netitishi? ;)

  2. So ... does rules 3&4 mean that you'll be without eBird, OntBirds, or any birding blogs?

    1. No i'll be checking everything as I please... If someone finds a Smew and I go see it, I just won't "count" it.... Likewise if someone finds a good bird at the tip of Pelee and I'm at the VC, I'll go take a look - just doesn't count!

  3. Nice, love the no twitching rule, I'm rooting for you (sorry Josh... but then I was rooting for you during your big year, too... so hey, do another one)

  4. FEAR that michigan border, no good hummingbirds for you! Of course I think you have us beat pretty much everywhere else...

  5. Sweet. Plenty of competition this coming year too. Love the rules. I'm rooting for you. 350 is the goal and it's doable. Go time!