Hello and welcome to my New Jersey Big Year!
What is a big year, you ask? Well, beginning on January 1st, 2013 I will attempt to see or hear as many bird species as possible in one calendar year within the boundaries of New Jersey and adjacent waters.
Why New Jersey? The easiest answer is – I live here! But it is also a little known fact (outside the birding community) that the little state of New Jersey is a big birding destination. With some hard work, and a little luck, you could hope to find over 300 bird species in any given year and never leave the state.
New Jersey is big enough to offer a wide variety of habitats and small enough to allow birders to travel the whole state in one 24 hour period. With some careful planning, you can begin your birding day watching the sun come up in High Point State Park and end it as the sun sets into the Delaware Bay around Cape May.
I’ve been actively birding for several years and, as family and job obligations continue to grow, now seems like the best chance for me to complete a big year.
I am also looking for an opportunity to give a little back to the birding community. Since 2006, I have been active in the New Jersey Audubon Citizen Science program and participated in a variety of their breeding bird surveys including those focused on birds which utilize grassland, Pinelands, and Piedmont habitats.
As a Citizen Scientist, I have developed a deeper appreciation for the natural areas of New Jersey and benefited enormously from my association with other Citizen Scientists and the hardworking, dedicated staff of the New Jersey Audubon
Through my Big Year activities, I hope to raise $10,000 for the New Jersey Audubon’s Citizen Science program. My goal will be to identify 300 different species, and I will be looking for pledges and support.
I’ll be posting regular updates of my birding activities on this blog and my associated Facebook
page. Soon, I will post pledge sheets and provide information on how you can show your support.
Whether you pledge or not, I hope you’ll come along with me as I explore my state of New Jersey and the birds that call it home!