It was a very big year
January 16, 2016 8:58 PM   Subscribe

Noah Stryker just set the record for birding's Big Year, spotting 6,042 of the estimated 10,400 species of birds in 2015. He blogged about it for Audubon. He saw a lot of birds.

A Big Year in birding is at attempt to see as many species as possible, and was made famous (for those not already deep into the birding lifestyle) with the movie The Big Year, starring Steve Martin.

What he carried.

He was still in Ethiopia, recovering from the end of his year, when he found out that his favorite birding refuge had been taken over by armed protestors.

Big year, previously.
posted by gingerbeer (15 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Kitty cat sez it doesn't count if you don't catch it and eat it.
posted by sammyo at 9:14 PM on January 16, 2016 [4 favorites]

Such a lot of work and dedication and insanity. Note to self: Visit the Lily Pond in Ghana, it seems to have excellent birds.
posted by rtha at 9:18 PM on January 16, 2016

Fun, fun, fun in the Audubon.
posted by w0mbat at 9:36 PM on January 16, 2016 [9 favorites]

He seems pretty keen on taking pictures of himself. And birds.
posted by Bistle at 9:39 PM on January 16, 2016

Boy is he going to be disappointed when he finds out there's actually only two kinds.
posted by solarion at 10:17 PM on January 16, 2016 [15 favorites]

Amazing. Number of birds seen on each day.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 10:51 PM on January 16, 2016

This is a lovely post. I look forward to digging in.
posted by pipoquinha at 11:37 PM on January 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

(nice to think about someone with such a positive life goal while I sit here worrying about the wildlife at Malheur)
posted by pipoquinha at 11:40 PM on January 16, 2016

I wonder how much he spent on plane tickets.
posted by sophist at 12:46 AM on January 17, 2016

I'm not a big birding person, so I was more interested in his packing list and the logistics. Unless there is a hidden support team just offstage, he lived for a year our of a carry-on bag including the tripod and big spotting scope, which is really impressive, and it sounds like he did all of the planning and logistics himself, while relying somewhat on the interest and support of local birders everywhere. The trip sounds incredibly exhausting -- travel is tiring, and birds don't always conveniently show up on your hotel balcony.

Buoyed by an advance from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and an agreement with the National Audubon Society to publish a daily blog of his journey, preparations began.

The last couple of years it seems like every around the world trip I read about starts with millions of dollars from cashing out of a tech start up, so it is unreasonably nice to not have that be an obvious part of this. It shouldn't matter, but it sort of does, at least for my interest level. The article suggests that his record may not stand for long, and that he is probably going to try it again as well.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:26 AM on January 17, 2016

Just FYI, the movie The Big Year is a documentary. Birders really do all the things that happen.
posted by Bringer Tom at 5:50 AM on January 17, 2016

I never liked this aspect of birding. Birding, for me, is more zen. You just be present where you are and observe. Some days, there are birds, and some days, there aren't. I'm not a competitive birder, I guess.

But I do keep count, so maybe I am competitive and just not good.
posted by kevinbelt at 7:49 AM on January 17, 2016 [6 favorites]

Meh, no Kirtland's Warber.

(j/k. This is amazing.)
posted by Stewriffic at 9:06 AM on January 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

Is he on Twitter?
posted by schmod at 10:29 AM on January 18, 2016

Boy is he going to be disappointed when he finds out there's actually only two kinds.

Right, Original Recipe© and Extra Crispy™.
posted by w0mbat at 11:21 AM on January 28, 2016

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