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An open conversation about the birds in your back yard and beyond

Big Year leader now at 771 NA bird species for 2016

John Weigel, the Australian who leads this year's North American Big Year effort has seen 771 bird species as of Oct 23. Two of those are provisional, awaiting acceptance by a committee of the American Birding Association. Number 770 (technically 768) was a Least Storm-Petrel found off the California coast on Oct. 21. Number 772 was a Great Scua seen two days later from a cruise ship heading for Nova Scotia from New York City. I believe he now has seen every regular NA species, now awaiting visitors and vagrants. BTW, 20 of the birds on his list were seen in Minnesota in June. He visited Murphy Hanrehan Park Reserve, Cliff-Fen park in Burnsville, Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge, Duluth, McGregor, Lost Lake, Sax-Zim bog, Crow-Hassen Park Reserve, Spring Lake Park, and the Miesville Ravine County Park.

I have no current number for Olaf Danielson, the North Dakotan also chasing Big Year numbers.

Follow them on their blogs:

Weigel — Birding for Devils

Danielson — The Bad Weather Big Year




Our warming world is not waiting for you to pay attention.


Birds left out of Presidential candidate debates

No, I didn't expect birds per se to make it into the debates. A long list of subjects were touched on, but the one most important to birds -- and to us -- never got out of the gate. Candidates ignored it, which is no surprise. The journalist moderators also ignored it, which should be to their shame. Global warming should have been high on the list of topics the candidates addressed. Nothing will have more influence on our future than climate change. Ignoring what is already happening will not make it stop or go away.

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