Kansas Big Years (through December 2017)

Big birding years are nothing new.  They've been around for many decades but have become of far greater interest since some highly publicized ABA (American Birding Association) big year attempts starting in the 1990s.  The release of the movie "The Big Year" in 2011 also vaulted this competitive side of birding into the forefront. Following is a table of birders who have had big years in recent years - minimum threshold of 325 species.

Rank Birder Year #
1. Chet Gresham 2000 358
2. Mike Rader 2014 346
3. Mike Rader 2003 344
4. Pete Janzen 2011 342
5. Mike Rader 1998 339
6. Mike Rader 2000 331
7. Galen Pittman 1990 327
8. Jim Malcom 2013 327
9. Jim Malcom 2014 325
10. Jim Malcom 2016 325

It should be pointed out that a Big Year is not something to be taken lightly. To achieve these kinds of numbers takes a combination of the right weather conditions, and a heavy commitment of time and money. The potential environmental impact, i.e. gasoline consumption, has been mentioned by many sources and should not be ignored. While competitive birding does have a certain appeal to some birders, there are other options: a big county year, a big yard year and there have even been "green" big years (BIGBY - Big Green Big Year) where birders only count birds that they've seen by walking or biking to birding destinations.  - Chuck Otte, KSBIRDS Webmaster

Updated March 2017

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