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.
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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