MB Birding Festival: birding by bike field trip next Saturday

For those of you who live in the SF Bay Area, I will be leading a greenbirding field trip for the Monterey Bay Birding Festival on Saturday morning, Sept 15. Check out http://www.montereybaybirding.org/trip_details.html for more info or to register for the event. Love to see you out there!

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ABA’s Birding magazine publishes greenbirding article


If you are an American Birding Association member, you have the July 2012 Birding magazine with the full text of my greenbirding article. If not, you can check out the follow-up ABA blog post at http://blog.aba.org/2012/07/greenbirding.html.

Thank you to those of you who participated in the GBD the last two years and sent results in to this website. I’ll send out an email invite and reactivate this blog for the next Green Big Day event, spring 2013!

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Redshank, Greenshank!

With all of the incredible shorebird sightings rolling in this summer already, I am compelled to share some carbon calculation tips for those (like me) who have not yet developed full resistance to a mega-rarity chase. Of course, the cleanest and greenest way to see a redshank, greenshank or any other awesome vagrant, is to continually monitor shorebird flocks in your own area until one shows up 1-50 years from now…:)

General Process:

1. Find out about that amazing sighting, and map out the round trip mileage.

2. Rent a hybrid and/or fill your car with birders who want to be green and save green.

3. Proceed to now famous location (without looking up current reports while driving).

4. Enjoy finding or missing the target bird with throngs of other birders.

5. Calculate your carbon consumption post-trip with a free online calculator, and divide it by the number of birders in your car.

6. Submit recommended carbon offset donation to an organization authorized to grant carbon credits through activities that actually “put plants in the ground.”

7. Keep records of your rare bird adventures and where new trees are growing because of them!

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Video of Alex & Scott’s Santa Cruz biking big day

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Green Big Day 2012 results spreadsheet

Hello green big day birders,

I have posted a results spreadsheet below for easy access, and it is organized alphabetically by last name.  Enjoy!  If you see anything incorrect, please let me know.

Also, please submit your efforts to the green listing page at www.greenbirding.ca and sign up for their online greenbirding community when you can.  Have a great summer!

Name GBD Date County, State, Country Mode Spp Best Bird of the Day
Baillie Birdathon Green Team** 5/12/12 Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, QC, Can Walking 89 Pine Warbler
Martin Butterfield + 4 4/17/12 Colombo, Sri Lanka Walking 51 Cinnamon Bittern
Peter Christian +1 4/14/12 W. Belconnen, Canberra, AU Walking 68 Shining Bronze Cuckoo
Margaret Leonard + 1 4/17/12 San Mateo, CA, US Walking 48 Northern Harrier
Jim Nicholson 5/22/12 East Lothian, UK Walking 87 Arctic Skua
Alex Rinkert & Scott Smithson 4/21/12 Santa Cruz, CA, US Walking 121* White-thr Sparrow
Paul Smithson 5/27/12 Washington, MN, US Walking 57 Sharp-shinned Hawk
Martin Butterfield 5/7/12 Carwoola, NSW, AU Biking 44 Australian Shelduck
Josiah Clark & Steve Phillips 4/20/12 Marin, CA, US Biking 161* all of them
Josiah Clark 4/25/12 Marin, CA, US Biking 141 all of them
Josiah Clark 5/5/12 Marin, CA, US Biking 156 all of them
Jared Dawson & Wim van Dam 4/19/12 Santa Barbara, CA, US Biking 123 Calliope Hummingbird
Robert Furrow 4/15/12 Santa Clara, CA, US Biking 157 Osprey
Robert Furrow 4/29/12 Santa Clara, CA, US Biking 159 Cattle Egret
Kay & Bob Kavanaugh 5/26/12 Florence, WI, US Biking 102 Black-thr Blue Warbler
Andrew Kleinhesselink 5/28/12 Cache, UT, US Biking 127 Bobolink
Mark Kudrav 4/21/12 San Mateo, CA, US Biking 126 Harlequin Duck
Alex Rinkert & Scott Smithson 5/5/12 Santa Cruz, CA, US Biking 150 Chipping Sparrow
**McGill Bird Observatory *Top US scores in 2012



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161: the new US green big day record!

I have finally finished uploading results of each of your green big day efforts in the drop down menus from the 2012 Results tab.  Of the teams that also participated last year, nine out of ten beat their own previous score, some by a dozen or more species!

Congratulations to Josiah Clark and Steve Phillips for setting a new US green big day record, with 161 species by bike in Marin County, CA.  Robert Furrow was a close second, with a 159 species by bike in Santa Clara County, CA.

I have also begun to add creative commons photos of your “best bird” of the day, and feel free to email me any greenbirding photos you would like to share for the website.  Still working on trimming some video clips and personal interviews, so you may be hearing from me soon…:)


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Best Days Ever!

Fellow green big day birders,

I know some of you have yet to email me your lists, photos, descriptions, etc., but I trust you each had a magnificent time wherever you were, enjoying your local birds by foot or bike!  Stay tuned for descriptions and video of my GBD efforts this spring, as well as your “best birds” photos.

For me, doing a green big day not only drives home how much fun birders can have leaving cars at home.  I also get a personal ecological snapshot of my local county here in the temperate North, right at the convergence of time when straggling winter residents cross paths with incoming summer residents.  Given a backdrop of super cool resident birds gearing up to breed, you can’t go wrong spending a day out in natural nooks and crannies of where you live.  Read my short article about this in the Santa Cruz Bird Club newsletter here:



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2012 Green Big Day event wraps up

June is now here, just waiting for a few more of you to send in your results…photos, videos, commentary, whatever you want.  Please submit info for the website by June 7!

I’ll have a summary report soon…:)

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Another record falls & 2 days to go!

Wow, what an effort has been made this year by biking and hiking birders!  In the coming weeks, the GBD website will interview some super cool peeps and highlight stories from this year’s event…such as the record-breaking 161 species effort in Marin County, CA.

The last two days of May 2012 are upon us, and if you were thinking about spending a day birding your home patch as part of the Green Big Day, now is the time!  If you have already enjoyed a great day of birding as part of this low key event, please share with the rest of us by posting a comment to the blog or clicking on “submit results here”.  Check out the 2012 results section for folks who have reported on their experience thus far…

If you are sitting on your results, please send them in by June 7!

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150 birds, 2 sore dudes

Since last Saturday, I have barely been able to hold chopsticks with enough strength in my hand to keep sushi from falling back to the plate.  Folks, I have learned for the 2nd and hopefully last time…that it is wise to train for a 16-hour day of birding by bike!  I should have listened to Josiah Clark who trains for these green big days every year.

Anyway, Alex Rinkert and I managed to break the previous Santa Cruz County GBD record of 130 with an exhausting effort that began with a Great-horned Owl and ended with a Barn Owl.  After recounting (making sure there were no hanging chads), Alex Rinkert emailed me with excitement to tell me we had logged 150 species on the day!

I’ll be posting everyone’s stories soon, keep ’em coming.  You have until the end of May to do a Green Big Day in your neighborhood, no matter where you live…enjoy!

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