2013 in Review

Looking back on the past 12 months, I did a lot of bird-y things in 2013 — helping out with the Edmonton Nature Club’s Young Naturalists’ Corner at the Snow Goose Chase, raising money for Bird Studies Canada and my local naturalist society with the Baillie Birdathonbirding in Central Park, a month-long internship in Ontario helping with fall migration monitoring, working on my Young Birder of the Year projects, and the Alberta Birds Facebook group I started in 2012 is up to 763 members, including lots of great birders and photographers.

A Savannah Sparrow (digiscoped) in June,


I added 31 new species to my Life List, putting it at 266 species. I was a little disappointed with my Alberta List, since I saw only 137 species compared to 154 last year. For my Year List, I saw 22 mammal species and 210 bird species.

On of my lifers this year — a Harris’s Sparrow that showed up at my feeders this past spring,


I added a new species to my humble yard list — a Blue Jay which stayed for only a few minutes in October, but I was very excited to see it,


A Double-crested Cormorant in Central Park in July,


Birding News #49

:: Unofficially for now, Neil Hayward has broken the standing ABA Big Year record of 745 species set by Sandy Komito in 1998. On December 28th, a sighting of a Great Skua put Hayward’s total at 746 (+ 3 provisionals).

:: A mystery illness has killed at least 16 Bald Eagles in Utah

:: A Chickadee’s brain expands in volume by 30 percent each fall to help it remember where it’s cached food for the coming winter

:: An article from Salon on the overuse of Red-tailed Hawk calls in movies, especially when the bird portrayed isn’t a Red-tailed Hawk.

:: Some researchers in Wisconsin are conducting a project for tracking Snowy Owls called Project SNOWstorm

Great posts in birding blogs this week: 

:: From Greg at the ABA BlogHayward vs Komito: A Look at the Playing Field

:: From Alex at Flight of the Scrub-Jay12/21 – Fairfield to Madison

:: From Eileen at Birding is FunBirding Curacao

:: From Andy at Limeybirder: Ookpiks in Brooklyn

:: From Clare at 10,000 Birds: Christmas Day Birding Around Broome

:: From Josh at Ontario Birds and Herps2013 Year in Review – part 1

:: From Grant at The Birder’s Library2013 Bird Books of the Year

Feathers on Friday

If you would like to join me for my Feathers on Friday meme, please put the link to your blog post in the comments and I’ll add the link to my post.

A drawing of a Savannah Sparrow and an American Goldfinch from my Young Birder of the Year field notebook,


Birding News #48

:: 13-year-old Charlie Sobcov from Ottawa has created ultraviolet plastic decals to help prevent birds colliding with windows 

:: Scientists have found fossil evidence that suggests the Kiwi, which is endemic to New Zealand, may have evolved in Australia 20 million years ago

:: A team from Belgium’s Princess Elisabeth Antarctica polar research station estimates there are 15,000 Emperor Penguins  living in a colony on East Antarctica’s Princess Ragnhild Coast

:: An interesting article about the spread of House Finch eye disease from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology

:: A new study suggests that the extinct Giant Moa weighed about 14 percent less than first thought

:: Some Alberta ranchers are frustrated by the new emergency protection order issued by the Canadian government earlier this month, to help protect Prairie Sage Grouse habitat.

Great posts in birding blogs this week: 

:: From Shyloh at Beakingoff: The History of Yukon Birding

:: From Dan at Bird CanadaChristmas Bird Counts in Alberta

:: From Laurence at Butler’s BirdsSmartbush Sparrows and Rusty Hawks in West Maricopa

:: From Brian at Fur and Feathers 5000: 2013 Year in Review 

:: From Alex at Flight of the Scrub-Jay12/15 – Miami, FL: Kendall Baptist Hospital

:: From Eileen at Viewing Nature with Eileen: Cardinals in the Snow

:: From George at The ABA BlogThe 2013 Snowy Owl Invasion: It’s getting crazier by the minute

The Crossley ID Guide Winner!

CrossleyB&ICongratulation to Matthew Bruce, the winner of this month’s holiday giveaway of the new book, The Crossley ID Guide  Britain & Ireland!

Thank you to everyone who entered and also to Cory from 10,000 Birds and Jessica from Princeton University Press for making the giveaway possible.

Happy birding in the new year with your new book, Matthew!