Wednesday, January 25, 2012

An intro and January challenge

Hey all-

Jesse Ellis here, one of your new additions this year. I'm a Madison birder. I love birding, but have been busy enough lately that driving a long way for birds has been impossible; yet, I love listing on some levels because it keeps me going out when I might otherwise do nothing "productive". Patch listing and BIGBY seemed the ideal way to go.

However, I'm not sure I'll be in Madison the entire year! So, to keep things interesting for myself, I set a challenge of seeing 50 species in January following BIGBY guidelines. This proved to be the January to do it, because with the open water and warm temps early this month, I've already hit 50 (51, to be precise). And that's with quite a few species still outstanding, like owls and a few more winter finches to be expected... So, is anyone up for a run to 60? We've still got a week.

Highlights so far have been: Mute Swans and Glaucous Gull on U Bay, a White-throated Sparrow at my feeders, lots of ducks, a MERLIN! over campus (my first for urban Madison, and one of my few for Wisconsin at all), and Carolina Wren in Shorewood Hills.

I'm looking forward to this environmentally friendly version of my favorite activity! See you all around!


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Dream Bigby

January 18, 2012
Since engaging in the interesting occupation of Bigbying, I must confess to be a touch obsessed with the entire activity. This interest has also invaded my dreams so I suggested to Owen that a new category be made called "Dream Bigbys." In the spirit of this category, I offer the dream below: (note, I had to go to the field guide to see that there was indeed a species called Ancient Murrelet and, in fact, my bird resembled it).

Last night's dream:

I was bigbying down to the lake shore, and I found a large banding weighting tube washed up on the shore. Inside was an Ancient Murrelet, banded, as well as a reprint of an ornithological article about the bird (this was wrapped around the bird).

I took the bird out of the tube and saw that it was still breathing, barely (therefore, it could be be counted as a bigby!). Of course, as a true friend, I called Tim so he could bike down and count it too, and save the bird.

We took it to a classroom so Tim could revive it with cat food he brought. When we took the bird out of the tube, there was also a fluffy white chick and mother and chick were doing fine. Tim ate the cat food instead because he was hungry, and then told me I couldn't count the bird as my bike had turned into a car

Robin Squier

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Congrats to Daniel!

Big congrats to Daniel for his great BIBGY in 2011! I'll summarize my own efforts in 2011 as mostly many good birds in Madison that I didn't even get due to general cowardice! However; that will surely change in 2012!

Great to see Milwaukee birders still signing up for this after losing so badly to the Madison birders in 2011.....

Andy Paulios
McFarland, WI

Friday, January 6, 2012

WGBC 2011 comes to a close

I'd like to congratulate the winners of the Green Birding Challenge for 2011.

The official winners and tallies...

Daniel Schneider with a monstrous 240 birds, breaking Scott Baughman's epic record of 234 from 2010. (And ironically, from what I heard, Scott humbly helped Daniel find the birds that broke his record)  Bernie Sloan came in second with 207 birds, followed by Andy Paulios and Kim Kreitinger (tied with 197) and Kay Kavanaugh (179). Scott Baughmann, undoubtedly recuperating from 2010 still managed 175 birds!

The 2012 challenge is already under way with several birders reaching 30 species within the first few days of the year.