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Amazing Milestone for Guy McCaskie

How many bird species are on the official list of your state or province? If you’re an ABA member, there’s a decent chance that total is somewhat less than 500. Okay, now how many species have been reported from your county? There are a tiny handful of outliers, but the vast majority of U.S. and Canadian counties are well shy of 500. Needless to say, individual birders’ county lists are lower still.

With one notable exception.

On Monday, May 27, 2019, legendary birder and field ornithologist Guy McCaskie saw a Hudsonian Godwit on the tidal mudflats at the mouth of the San Diego River, San Diego County, California, the 500th species he’s recorded in the county.

Birders love to dissect and analyze things, and, no doubt, an analysis of McCaskie’s astonishing attainment is forthcoming. But not now. We’re still at the stage of awe and amazement. Like Babe Ruth’s “called shot,” Guy McCaskie’s 500th species in San Diego County is an instant, immortal classic.

Congratulations, Guy, on your supreme achievement—and good luck, from all of us at the ABA, as you get to work on your next 500!

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Ted Floyd

Ted Floyd

Editor, Birding magazine at American Birding Association
Ted Floyd is the longtime Editor of Birding magazine, and he is broadly involved in other programs and initiatives with the ABA. Ted has written 200+ magazine articles and 5 books, including How to Know the Birds (National Geographic, 2019). He is a frequent speaker at birding festivals and has served on several nonprofit boards. Join Ted at The ABA Blog for his semimonthly spot, “How to Know the Birds,” celebrating common birds and the uncommonly interesting things they do.