Friday, October 09, 2009
The Big Sit
A fun, free, annual birding event, called the "Big Sit" will be happening this Sunday the 11th. Anyone can participate, in any country. All you have to do is stake out a 17 foot diameter circle, anywhere in the U.S., even your backyard, and count how many birds you see or hear during a 24 hour period. To register go here.
If your backyard in in Florida you may be so lucky to see Painted Buntings at your feeder, as we did when we lived there.
Or, if your circle is on a mountain top in NH, and you invite your friends to help you with your count,
You may see a juvenile Cooper's Hawk, like this.
If your Big Sit circle is on the coast,
maybe you'll see a large group of shorebirds, such as this group, that consists mainly of Short-billed Dowitchers in flight. I love the white marks on their backs.
The Big Sit is hosted by Birdwatcher's Digest and the New Haven Bird Club, the club who founded the event 15 years ago. It's sponsored by Swarovski Optik, who offers a prize to the circle that can find the golden bird. What's appealing is that you don't have to use up a lot of gas, traveling all over, to check off species, as happens in many other birding competitions. You stay in one spot and let the birds come to you. You also get to experience a unique sense of place and the avian visitors who visit or fly over that little patch of the planet in one day.
So try it, you may like it.