Neighborhood Nature

Our Family's Nature Blog

Dad’s Walking Bigby: Big Green Big Year (2009) February 3, 2009

“Bigby” stands for “Big Green Big Year.” As explained on the Bigby website:

The Big Green Big Year has the acronym BGBY and is therefore pronounced Bigby … and it is simply a Big Year in which you only count those species seen within walking or cycling distance of your home or principle place of work. As simple as that, no dashing off to the far corners of the planet burning fossil fuels as you go. From: http://www.sparroworks.ca/bigby.html

This year I’m doing a Walking Bigby by making a list that includes only those birds I see at home or on walks that originate at home. (There are other Bigbys for folks who bicycle or take public transportation.)

My goal for 2009 is to see and/or hear 150 species of birds on my Walking Bigby. My 2008 eBird total for Oak Park and Columbus Park was 144 species, so that seems within reach (especially because I’m walking more this year). I will also take some longer walks west to Forest Park and the Des Plaines River, which I will probably count towards my 150 species goal.

My most recent additions include:

On a Wednesday, April 15, walk through south Oak Park: I added Eurasian Collared-Dove to my Bigby list.

On a Tuesday, April 14, walk to Columbus Park: I added four Bigby birds to my list: Red-breasted Merganser, Pied-billed Grebe, Caspian Tern, and Rudy-crowned Kinglet.

On a Tuesday, April 7, walk to Columbus Park: I saw a Brown Thrasher and several Yellow-rumped Warblers.

On a Thursday, April 2, walk to Columbus Park: I saw three Black-crowned Night-Herons.

Here’s my Walking Bigby total as of April 15, 2009: 58

Common Name Date seen (1st): Place:
Cackling Goose 3/6/2009 Columbus Park
Canada Goose 1/4/2009 Columbus Park
Wood Duck 3/6/2009 Columbus Park
Mallard 2/23/2009 Forest Home Cemetary, Forest Park
Bufflehead 3/18/2009 Columbus Park
Red-breasted Merganser 4/14/2009 Columbus Park
Pied-billed Grebe 4/14/2009 Columbus Park
Black-crowned Night-Heron 4/2/2009 Columbus Park
Sharp-shinned Hawk 1/13/2009 Home (backyard)
Cooper’s Hawk 1/4/2009 Columbus Park
Red-tailed Hawk 1/12/2009 Columbus Park
American Kestrel 3/4/2009 South Oak Park
Merlin 1/4/2009 Columbus Park
Killdeer 3/5/2009 Columbus Park
Ring-billed Gull 1/4/2009 Columbus Park
Herring Gull 1/28/2009 South Oak Park
Caspian Tern 4/14/2009 Columbus Park
Rock Pigeon 1/2/2009 Home (backyard)
Eurasian Collared-Dove 4/15/2009 South Oak Park
Mourning Dove 1/4/2009 Home (backyard)
Monk Parakeet 2/12/2009 Columbus Park
Belted Kingfisher 3/23/2009 Columbus Park
Red-bellied Woodpecker 2/23/2009 Forest Home Cemetery, Forest Park
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 1/4/2009 Columbus Park
Downy Woodpecker 1/4/2009 Columbus Park
Hairy Woodpecker 1/5/2009 South Oak Park
Northern Flicker 1/7/2009 Columbus Park
Eastern Phoebe 3/16/2009 Columbus Park
Blue Jay 1/8/2009 Home (backyard)
American Crow 1/4/2009 Columbus Park
Black-capped Chickadee 1/4/2009 Columbus Park
Red-breasted Nuthatch 3/17/2009 Columbus Park
White-breasted Nuthatch 2/13/2009 South Oak Park
Brown Creeper 3/24/2009 South Oak Park
Golden-crowned Kinglet 3/18/2009 Columbus Park
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 4/14/2009 Columbus Park
Hermit Thrush 3/27/2009 Columbus Park
American Robin 1/5/2009 South Oak Park
Brown Thrasher 4/7/2009 Columbus Park
European Starling 1/4/2009 Columbus Park
Yellow-rumped Warbler 4/7/2009 Columbus Park
Eastern Towhee 3/25/2009 Columbus Park
American Tree Sparrow 1/4/2009 Columbus Park
Chipping Sparrow 3/18/2009 Columbus Park
Field Sparrow 3/25/2009 Columbus Park
Fox Sparrow 3/18/2009 Columbus Park
Song Sparrow 2/24/2009 Columbus Park
Swamp Sparrow 3/23/2009 Columbus Park
Dark-eyed Junco 1/2/2009 Home (backyard)
Northern Cardinal 1/2/2009 Home (backyard)
Red-winged Blackbird 3/5/2009 Columbus Park
Common Grackle 3/6/2009 Home (backyard)
Brown-headed Cowbird 3/20/2009 Home (backyard)
Purple Finch 3/16/2009 Home (backyard)
House Finch 1/2/2009 Home (backyard)
Common Redpoll 1/21/2009 Home (backyard)
American Goldfinch 1/2/2009 Home (backyard)
House Sparrow 1/2/2009 Home (backyard)

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