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Birding is not accessible or even appealing to everyone, though few can deny the joy found in the observation of these amazing creatures. It’s rarely mentioned in mainstream films or television. A notable exception is the film entitled “The Big Year,” based on a novel of the same title by Mark Obmascik. Its humor, along with the familiar faces of the actors, made this film appealing to even those with little to no interest or knowledge of birds. The winner of that particular year is named Kenny Bostick. He was not always likable, but his skill and determination were unmatched. So I called us Team Bostick: Rebecca, Nick, John, Josh and Jan.

Our Big Day began at 5:45 a.m., at the foot of Skinner’s Butte. Western Tanagers were numerous, as were many species of warbler and a few vireo. We left the butte with 46 species! Next we stopped at Alton Baker for a Ring-necked Pheasant, which we heard before leaving the cars. From there, we drove to Fern Ridge, where we walked both the Royal Avenue and the Fisher Butte paths. By the time we headed to Florence, we had observed 100 species! The South Jetty was lovely as always, with great sea birds such as Pigeon Guillemot, Pelagic Cormorant, and Common Loon. After the jetty, we went up the Mountain Loop road to find Mountain Quail and Gray Jay. We found both, plus many others. A few other stops along the way gave us 133 species for the day. 

Joining in this activity is easy. You don’t need to commit to the full 24 hours. Even 10 minutes or an hour of submitted information helps! More than 28,000 birders worldwide participated this year, reporting 6,899 species—more than 2/3 of the world’s species! Ten percent of these species were reported by only one person, which goes to show how much of an impact you can have by participating.  

The 2019 Global Big Day date has not been announced, but stay tuned for another group adventure next year! Team Bostick will undoubtedly be out at dawn, searching for as many species as possible

–Rebecca Waterman