I’m not a lister. It’s not my thing, but I’m going to kinda sorta do it for six months for a good cause: Sax Zim Bog.
Friends of Sax Zim Bog has set a six month challenge called the Big Half Year to raise money for their current projects. Since they recently purchased a 40 acre Black Spruce/Tamarack bog and the current priority for 2013 is to complete the Sax-Zim Bog Welcome Center on Owl Avenue, they need some funding!
The challenge is that you have to do some form of a “Big Year” for six months: see as many birds as possible, attracting the most birds to your yard, a county big year, a state big year, a bog big year–however you want to do it, do it!
So, I’m going to see how many different species of birds I can digiscope between January 1 – June 30, 2013. (Like the above evening grosbeaks). And you can pledge your support if you feel so inclined. You can either pledge a fixed amount or pledge an amount per bird. I think I estimated that I’ll digiscope 250 species…but I have a lot of travel between now and then (Florida, New York, Connecticut, San Francisco, Ohio), so it very easily could exceed that. If you pledge, you may just want to do a fixed amount.
There are prizes for this, but I told the organizers to take my name out of the running, my prize will be that a welcome center is there. But if you have ever visited the bog, you should consider either donating or creating a user profile and doing your own big half year to raise funds (who knows, you might also win a really cool prize).
That said, it’s a small birding world and we all know each other. I won’t be offended if you choose to pledge for a different Big Half Year participant. Again, the goal here is make Sax Zim easier for birders to navigate and preserve habitat for some pretty spanky species like great gray owls, evening grosbeaks, boreal chickadees and northern hawk owl.