|Original image by Rob Martin and Punkbirder.|
I’m about to embark on something big. As some of you know, and some of you don’t, I’m a Birdwatcher. Get the laughs out now if this is new news. But honestly, I’m pretty serious about it. So serious, in fact, that this coming year, 2011, I’m going to do something called a Big Year. What’s a Big Year? Well, it’s when a birder spends 365 days attempting to see as many different bird species as possible. A Big Year usually has geographical constraints as well. Mine will be Ontario, Canada. That means if I’m in Windsor and I see a special bird sitting on the Detroit side of the river, I can’t count it. But if it swims or flies over into Ontario, I can.
I plan on documenting the entire process. Why? There are a few reasons. Mostly to try and change the stereotypes of what a Birdwatcher is. You know, the people in Tilley hats thing. There’s nothing wrong with that birder, but not all birders are created equal. Secondly, I’d like to see what it’s like to make a documentary film. The third reason is to bring this very enjoyable past time to a younger generation. And last but not least, to make people aware of how fragile and important our winged friends are to the environment.
To make it a bit more interesting, I will be getting a Tattoo throughout my Big Year. But not just any tattoo, (I already have lots of those) I’m going to tattoo the latin name of each and every bird species I see next year on my body. If I’m lucky and things go my way, that could be around 300 bird species. If you know latin bird names, that's 600 words.
I’ll try and get to 300, but I’m not nearly as good as many birders I’ve met. The bigger challenge for me will be attempting a Big Year while balancing my busy family life (I have 3 year old twins and I'm married to a very talented and busy illustrator) and a very stressful career (I’m an award winning Art Director/Associate Creative Director in advertising). When I’m not with my family or writing ads, I spend what’s left of my free time either birding, buying music or working as a freelance Graphic Designer.
I’ll be updating you regularly in a few ways. This blog, Twitter & Facebook for sure.
Wish me luck and you’ll hear more soon.