Rockjumper Tours

aba events

The Ultimate Big Year

Noah with everything he will carry this year - no checked bags!

Noah and everything he will carry this year.

Today, I begin 365 days of intense birding: In 2015, I hope to see 5,000 species of birds around the world. After celebrating this New Year in Antarctica, I will make my way up through South America, then across North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia, and end in Australia next December. If I survive, by the end of this year I’ll have birded my way through 35 countries!

The logistics of this trip have taken months to plan. Everywhere I go, I will connect with local birders who have generously agreed to host me and show me their home territories. Strategically, a worldwide big year is complex: How long do you spend in one place before it is more productive to move on? What are the target species?

To see 5,000 birds in a year (about half the birds on Earth) will require averaging 14 new species every day—or a new bird every daylight hour. On that level, my strategy is big-picture stuff: I will be birding habitats this year instead of searching for one bird at a time. One thing I like about this planetary approach is that, unlike big years on any other scale, it doesn’t reward chasing vagrants. Instead, I’ll look for birds in the places they’re most common.

Officially, to set a world record, I will have to see at least 4,342 species; a British couple, Ruth Miller and Alan Davies, saw 4,341 in 2008 (as recounted in their book, The Biggest Twitch). Even more than that, I’m looking forward to meeting some incredible people this year, reflecting on the international nature of birding today, and sharing lots of good stories along the way.

It’s sure to be a grand adventure! You can read more about the project, and follow along on my daily blog this year, on the Audubon website (bookmark this link!):

www.audubon.org/noah

Happy New Year from Antarctica!

 

Facebooktwitter
The following two tabs change content below.
Noah Strycker

Noah Strycker

Noah Strycker, Associate Editor of Birding magazine, is author of Among Penguins: A Bird Man in Antarctica (2011) and The Thing with Feathers: The Surprising Lives of Birds and What They Reveal About Being Human (2014). In 2015, Noah completed the ultimate big year, traveling through 41 countries to see 6,042 species of birds between January and December.
Noah Strycker

Latest posts by Noah Strycker (see all)

American Birding Podcast
Birders know well that the healthiest, most dynamic choruses contain many different voices. The birding community encompasses a wide variety of interests, talents, and convictions. All are welcome.
If you like birding, we want to hear from you.
Read More »

Categories

Authors

Archives

ABA's FREE Birder's Guide

via email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • Meet Adam Dhalla, 2018 ABA Young Birder of the Year March 27, 2018 5:42
    Meet 12-year-old Adam Dhalla from Coquitlam, British Columbia, one of the 2018 Young Birders of the Year! Want to learn more about how you could be the next Young Birder of the Year? Registration is open for the 2019 contest now! ——– Q: Were you a birder before you started the ABA Young […]
  • Open Mic: Birding Mentors Inspiring Young Minds March 6, 2018 6:42
    Texas young birder Sebastian Casarez talks about the importance of mentors to young birders. […]
  • Announcing the 2018 ABA Young Birders of the Year! February 16, 2018 3:07
    We are thrilled to announce the winners of the 2018 ABA Young Birder of the Year Contest! Congratulations to Teodelina Martelli and Adam Dhalla, as well all of this year's participants! […]

Follow ABA on Twitter