Though I didn’t go to bed until after 3 a.m. I am up by 7:40 a.m. as sunlight brightens the edges of my bedroom windows. “It’s January first!” I think to myself and jump out of bed wondering what my first bird of the year will be. Before I even reach a window to look out, I hear the call of a Blue Jay in the frosty morning air.
I grab my bins and my camera and start my count. Tough it is always fun to see what your first bird of the year will be, I’ve decided to do a Big January Count again this year after reading Larry's Post where he says he will be doing one also. Larry writes The Brownstone Birding Blog and he is the one who got me eBirding way back in January of 2008. We have had a friendly rivalry ever since. It is a fun game to play and adds lots of lists to eBird, which helps the scientists and the birds.
A Big January is where you count all the bird species you can see in your state during the month of January. You can walk, ride or drive to see them, the only limitation is that it must be in your state only. You do not count birds you see in other states as your Big January Total. This is how we play the game but some people like to count birds from all over. Make up your own game and your own rules if you like.
Last year I counted the first House Finch for all of Essex County, Massachusetts!
Last year I was new to this state and we had deep snow on the ground. My total for last year was 55 species. Since the weather is better and I know my way around better, I hope to at least beat my last year’s total, even if I can’t beat Larry!
Big January Bird List 2012:
- Blue Jay
- Mourning Dove
- Downy woodpecker
- American Crow
- Black-capped chickadee
- Tufted titmouse
- White-breasted Nuthatch
- White-throated sparrow
- House Finch
- American goldfinch
- House Sparrow
Happy Birding! Now I’m off to do more counts!