2013 and beyond

It's pretty simple: the most birds seen or heard from one's yard during 2013 will be the "winner". Want in? O.k....then do it despite that.

2013 promises to be a lot less mean but still a carbon-free birding competition, even if slightly less exciting than a MEGA x EPIC hybrid.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Birding in the year of the Great Transformation

While we contemplate the future of 2012 on the yardblog, I figured I'd be the first to pounce with my 15 species (13 on Jan. 1, two more on Jan. 2) including the Best Yardbird of 2012 in form of the Field Sparrow currently overwintering at my feeder. A nice surprise on Jan. 1 was 71 Cedar Waxwings that came into the yard after scarfing berries in a neighbors Mnt-Ash.

I have also submitted my first 2 complete checklists to ebird as part of a record-keeping resolution. The yard list tally on the site is pretty sweet, I hope to keep nudging the Swamp Lair northward in the World rankings. AND, I plan to do it without lying.

The only other "new" change planned for 2012 is listing both yards in Escanaba. I've been holding off birding the new place heavy because I wanted to give the Swamp Lair a chance to mature and blossom into its own. The "Chase Place", however, is so superior for waterbirds and shorebirds that I feel I'm doing myself a disservice by not investing in a yard I have a good chance of birding the rest of my life.

All the best in 2012 and hats off to "Big Rig" for putting us to shame with both quantity and quality in 2011. A triple nod to Sean F. for the only "committee-worthy" specimen with Prairie Falcon (if it didn't get rejected because of those jesses), and finally an impressive honorable mention to the GRSP in Haas-dogs yard; that was one displaced and misplaced urban bird.

Remember with the end of the Mayan long calendar on Dec. 21 there's a possibility of the competition getting cut short. On the good side maybe Common Phoenix will be a possibility.


  1. Phoenix is my grail species. I'll keep an eye out on Dec 22.

    I'm at 19 for the year at the wetlands (Best bird: injured DCCO remaining against all odds in the still open water as of last night).

    Thanks for bringing up the falcon Kat-power. Jesses notwithstanding; after that guy released it to chase down some ROPIs, the PRFA really didn't seem too tame. It perched on a feeder for a few minutes, looking down periodically (maybe trying to find a ground-dwelling CITE?). It then called a few times and flew into the guys car (!?!). Definitely the most exciting wild bird I've ever seen.

    I saw you on the yard list eBird ranking Swampass! Great success!

  2. Shoot, if Phoenix is in the ballpark, I'll take Moa or Labrador Duck any day of the week.

  3. I'd go for passenger-side pigeon myself.

    I hope there wasn't a cage inside that guys car (see rule below);

    per RULE 3 of the ABA listing rules :The bird must have been unrestrained when encountered.

    C. “Unrestrained” means not held captive in a cage, trap, mistnet, hand, or by any other means and not under the influence of such captivity.

  4. Well if one isn't a member of the ABA, one doesn't have to answer to said rules correct? That's always been my approach.

    Bring on the owl-baiting, parakeet-releasing, "Detroit Lions" shall we say, style of yardbirding!!!

  5. Pragmatic solutions to life's important issues.

    Reminds me of a favorite quote "Academic politics is the most vicious and bitter form of politics, because the stakes are so low."



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