Thursday, October 1, 2015


It's been 5 months since our last update, when we were at 250 species. With each new bird we added to the big year blog, the next number became that much tougher. Well, we've added 50 birds since our last post, putting us at 300 species total in the first 9 months of the year! 300 was a goal for me when we started this back in January, a goal that seemed like it might be out of reach. 300 species of birds is a remarkable number, and does a great job in highlighting the avian diversity which we are fortunate to have here in Travis County. More importantly, we have had submissions from 40 different contributors, and without all of you, we would be nowhere near our current total.

That said, I think we're in a great position to keep pushing and see what number we can finish up with. Obviously, we've added many very unexpected birds in the last 5 months, including Magnificent Frigatebird, Lesser Nighthawk, and Violet-green Swallow. We've also done a great job of nailing down most of the more expected species. Fall and winter will provide us with an opportunity to pick up some of the birds we missed earlier this year, and we still have the possibility that some very unexpected birds may show up before the end of the year. 

Here are some birds to keep an eye out for in the coming months:

Ross's Goose
Surf Scoter
White-winged Scoter
Horned Grebe
Ruddy Turnstone
American Woodcock
Red-necked Phalarope
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Burrowing Owl
Short-eared Owl
Broad-tailed Hummingbird
Prairie Falcon
Red-breasted Nuthatch
White-breasted Nuthatch
Mountain Bluebird
Sprague's Pipit
Lapland Longspur
Chestnut-collared Longspur
Green-tailed Towhee
Lark Bunting
Purple Finch

Thanks again to everyone who has contributed to the big year so far. I know we are all looking forward to seeing what our total is on December 31st!

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