Thursday, December 27, 2012

2013 Big Year Plans!

Seth's 2013 Big Year Plans!

So, after thinking about it for the last year or so and to celebrate my tenth year of keeping annual Staten Island lists, I have decided on 'officially' declaring 2013 as a "Staten Island Big Year".  Many "Big Year birders" try to best state-wide or local records during their big year attempts.  My only goal for this big year is it best my own personal record of 232 for Staten Island set in 2008.

In order to have a successful Big Year, I will be getting out and around Staten Island as much as possible.   Additionally, I will visit places that are not part of my usual routine which will hopefully provide a more complete picture of what species inhabit different parts of the island, and most importantly accumulate a long year list!

Staten Island's cumulative annual total is between 280 and 300 species.  There's always a certain number of "given" species that you can see each year with moderate effort, and others that are seen ever few years.  Over the past 10 years, my annual tallies have ranged between 202 (in my first year listing) and 232 species, with an average of 218.8 species.  Given these numbers, reaching my goal of breaking 232 should be attainable with a little work and a good amount of luck.

Many factors go into the final list of species that show up on the island in a given year; storms, good migration activity and just annual variation in species movement can all impact what species are found on the island in a given year... I'm keeping my fingers crossed that 2013 will be a year filled with rarities!

I will be keeping this log updated as much as possible and include photographs when available, even if they are just blurry ID photos.  I will also be keeping a running list of what species I've found, with "first dates seen" indicated by (mm/dd/yyyy) next to the species name. One of my hopes for this year is that I will be visiting location which I don't usually visit and through the blog, highlight the great birding locations Staten Island has to offer.

In addition to this blog, photos of 2013 bird can be found on my Flickr page and I will posting "on the scene" sightings of rare birds on the SINaturaList 

Please visit on the evening of January 1st to see the first entry of 2012 featuring the results from our annual New Years Day Birding Run!