Since the last of the big scheduled trips is over with and the next couple of weeks will be dedicated to myriad holidays, for all intents and purposes my birding in 2012 is not likely to produce any real news. So, I feel like I can now discuss my plans for 2013: a Big Year!
For those not familiar with this concept (like me before I saw the movie (I read the book afterward)), a Big Year is an individual quest to see as many different species of birds as possible in one calendar year: 12:00am on January 1st to 11:59pm on December 31st. The stories that the Big Year movie chronicles are based on true events in the lives of people in the upper-echelon of the birding world, where flying across the entire continent, spending tens of thousands of dollars, and seeing upwards of 700 species are common undertakings. I will not be doing any of those things.
My Big Year will stay confined to the state of Indiana, and with less than 200 species on my entire life list as it stands now, I have no intention (or expectation) of achieving a particularly remarkable final tally. I do, however, expect searching across the state for specific birds will be very fun, and I fully anticipate becoming a better birder from it. Indiana is also a great place to go birding. It may not be as ornithologically thrilling as someplace like Texas, California, or Alaska, but its central location in North America means that it occasionally gets specialties from both the east and west as well as the north and south. The state has recorded over 400 species in its variety of habitats, which include hardwood forests, farmland, a piece of the Great Lakes shoreline, farmland, riparian corridors, farmland, hills, and farmland too!
I will update this blog with my progress like usual, but I will have a running score in the Big Year tab at the top of the page. I think a realistic goal for someone with my knowledge and resources is 250 species, and I am itching for January 1st to get here!