Tuesday, October 19, 2010

My 2010 "combo" walking BIGBY list reaches 200 species for the year

This year (2010) is the third year that I have kept a "walking BIGBY" list. A walking Bigby list is a list of the bird species you encounter while walking from home. There are other types of BIGBYs, e.g., some people cover a lot of ground while riding their bicycles. I chose to more intensively bird a smaller patch of ground on foot. For more info on BIGBYing in general, see: http://bit.ly/cn3cbv.

For the first seven months of this year I lived in Bloomington, Indiana, near the Indiana University cross country course and an adjoining patch of two square miles of uninhabited forested hills. As of July 31, I had recorded 158 species while walking near my home.

Since August 1, I have lived in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, just a couple of blocks from a string of public parks that stretch along the Lake Michigan shoreline. At present, I have recorded 156 species while walking near home.

Late this summer I decided to put together a combined ("combo") walking BIGBY list for the whole year. I combined my Indiana list with my Wisconsin list to see how many species I had. Before I did this exercize I publicly set a goal of 200 walking BIGBY species for 2010. After announcing this goal I got a little nervous that the overlap between the 2010 Indiana and 2010 Wisconsin lists would be bigger than I thought, and that I would fall well short of this goal. Well, my fears were unfounded. This morning I recorded my 200th "combo" walking BIGBY species for the year...Bufflehead.

Of the 200 species, 114 (57%) were common to both Indiana and Wisconsin. Of the remaining 86 species, 44 (22%) were unique to Bloomington, IN, and 42 (21%) species were unique to Milwaukee.

I'm wondering how much higher my count might go, what with waterfowl migration just starting and some winter species yet to come.

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