Tuesday, March 30, 2010

While I did not find any unexpected or rare birds while out today, I definitely had one particularly satisfying addition to my BIGBY list.

For almost 15 years now, I have participated in a big day competition in NW Ohio. By far, the most frustrating bird each year is the Belted Kingfisher (and I would guess that any birders here in Wisconsin who have undertaken a "Big Day" might agree). It isn't a particularly rare bird, a possible find on just about any body of water. It's easy to find when present, with striking colors, medium size, and a noisy rattling call. However, it is spread so thin that it is nearly impossible to pin one down to a specific location. Last year, with over 25 top-notch birders participating, only one team found a Kingfisher. We missed the bird, leaving us one species short of our target. Making matters worse, on the way home the next day, I saw not one, but three kingfishers before I hit the Ohio-Indiana border (less than 75 miles).

Since the BIGBY stretches over half of the year, I figured that eventually I would come across one, but I still let out a huge sigh of relief when I stumbled across my first Belted Kingfisher (60) of the year today at the Veteran's Park lagoon.

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