Or, should I say, Happy Big New Year?
No, I think I was right the first time. Happy New Big Year.
Anyway, this post is about both the 2013 New Year and a 2013 Big Year.
So, first things first. Happy New Year! I most sincerely wish you the health, happiness and prosperity you deserve in 2013 and beyond. Thanks for your friendship. If you are one of my family members, well, even if you didn’t pick me – you’re stuck with what God gave you. Thanks for loving me in spite of myself.
And next, on to the Big Year. Did you get a chance to see The Big Year? It was a not-too-wildly successful nevertheless fun to watch comedy about serious birding competition. Birding “competition”? Is that where the comedy is? Are you pulling my leg? No leg pulling. Serious birders often compete to see how many species they can observe in a given area in a given time. They call a year-long competition a “big year”. I know, I know. I never thought of birding as a “competitive” sport. Heck, I never even thought of it as a sport. But, it is! After a few years at it, I’ve amassed a small collection of sports gear to prove it. I’m including a photo of me wearing / carrying all that gear on a hot bluebird monitor trail.
Okay, so … in the December birding club newsletter I read that my club declared plans for a 2013 Big Year competition. Here’s my chance to take a stab at it! Not being a natural-born competitor, um-m-m, I’m going to pass. I had to think a long and hard 10 seconds to make that decision.
Here’s how the newsletter describes the club’s Big Year and competition categories:
“For those unfamiliar with this term, ‘Big Year’ is a friendly competition in which birders attempt to record as many bird species as they can within a specified area during the course of the year.”
A full two pages of the newsletter were devoted to competition category details and rules conjured up by the Big Year Committee. (It takes a committee to coordinate a Big Year? I guess a Big Year is a really Big Deal!)
County Big Year – see/hear as many bird species in a specific county
Site Big Year – Large, Medium, Small, and backyard sites
Big Green Year – you have to walk or bike to the site
For Fun Big Year with the sub-categories, Most New Lifers (adding to the list of bird species seen during one’s lifetime), Most Field Trip Birds, Most County Forest Preserves Birded, and Most New Birding Friends.
eBird Big Year – for users of the eBird site.
I won’t bore you with the details and half-page of rules. Email me if you want them.
I’m not worried about missing out. I have a few birding-related priories on my “Personal Big Year” list of 2013 goals. I’ll keep you posted as I move along.
However you measure it,
here’s to your best year ever!