Tuesday, December 06, 2011

A Birding Big Year in 2011

Amidst the talk over the recent movie based on Mark Obmascik's The Big Year, a birder named John Vanderpoel is doing an ABA big year and compiling some impressive numbers.

John W. Vanderpoel, who now lives in Colorado, has spotted 736 species of birds in 2011.

That means he has the second-biggest Big Year ever. He trails only Sandy Komito of New Jersey, who logged 748 species in 1998.

The 62-year-old Vanderpoel passed Virginia birder Bob Ake, who had 731 species in 2010, for second place.

He is only the 15th birder in the United States to log 700 species on a Big Year.

Topping 700 made him “happy and humble,” he wrote on his Big Year blog.
Apparently he has already reached one of his original goals:
He said his goal was to get to 700 species, not to set the record. In fact, he was the quickest Big Year birder to reach 700 species.

He has also seen 911 species of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians in his travels. His goal: 1,000.
Will he reach Komito's record? At this point it seems unlikely that he will pick up the 12 species he would need to tie the record (or the 13 to break it), but it is still possible. You can follow the rest of his big year on his blog.