Monday, December 31, 2007
As soon as I wake up in the morning, and there are no promises of an early rising this year, my Big Green Big Year will begin. I was introduced to the concept here: http://www.sparroworks.ca/bigby.html
Birders, by nature, are enthusiastic about wild birds, their behavior, identification and conservation. There are many birders out there who put the bird first, life second. We will go to the ends of the Earth, to the depths of our bank accounts, and even to the edge of sanity in our quest to observe a bird.
And here is the birding catch-22. We love to go see birds, and along with that passion comes a moral obligation to conserve birds. This often means preserving habitat and keeping ecosystems healthy. But, if I want to go see what rare bird may be 20 miles away at the lake, I have to get in my car and drive out there. I'll stop and go about a dozen times on the way so I can scan that pond, get a glimpse of that hawk or what not. The standard means of birding is wasteful, at least in a "green" sense. We will pump gallon after gallon into the tank in order to pursue our hobby.
Last week I bought a car. I owned a car for about a year while I was still in high school, but then my brother got that. I went through college without wheels. This last summer I bought a $400 junker that lasted me two months and helped me add a handful of lifers to my list. That died. Now, I need an excuse not to become another fossil-fuel junkie. Big Green Big Year! I will stay on my bike, I shall shun the car and all its worldly temptations. It is a short two mile ride to work and back, which I've been doing for months. I can't stop now. This will keep me in shape and will keep the world happy.
Here are my rules:
My house, 690 Inca Pkwy, Boulder, CO, will be my starting point. There are no guarantees that I'll still be living here after next summer...so I might have to move my starting point.
I will count any birds heard or seen while walking or biking from my house.
I have a bunch of bus passes and the weather here can be terrible and not very bike-friendly, so I'm going to include public transportation in my BGBY. I'll try to utilize it as little as possible. Might have to take a trip up into the mountains this summer, though.
I think that's it. ABA rules and such apply. No tapes or spotlights.