2013 in Review

Looking back on the past 12 months, I did a lot of bird-y things in 2013 — helping out with the Edmonton Nature Club’s Young Naturalists’ Corner at the Snow Goose Chase, raising money for Bird Studies Canada and my local naturalist society with the Baillie Birdathonbirding in Central Park, a month-long internship in Ontario helping with fall migration monitoring, working on my Young Birder of the Year projects, and the Alberta Birds Facebook group I started in 2012 is up to 763 members, including lots of great birders and photographers.

A Savannah Sparrow (digiscoped) in June,


I added 31 new species to my Life List, putting it at 266 species. I was a little disappointed with my Alberta List, since I saw only 137 species compared to 154 last year. For my Year List, I saw 22 mammal species and 210 bird species.

On of my lifers this year — a Harris’s Sparrow that showed up at my feeders this past spring,


I added a new species to my humble yard list — a Blue Jay which stayed for only a few minutes in October, but I was very excited to see it,


A Double-crested Cormorant in Central Park in July,


Feathers on Friday

If you would like to join me for my Feathers on Friday meme, please put the link to your blog post in the comments and I’ll add the link to my post.

A drawing of a Killdeer from my Young Birder of the Year field notebook,


More Feathers on Friday Posts:

:: From Josiah at Birds in Your Backyard: Parkland Mews Volunteering

:: From Ethan at Bird Boy: Feathers on Friday

YBY Unboxing

I was so excited to get my ABA Young Birder of the Year contest package in the mail on July 5th, just before we left for New York, so I thought I would do an “unboxing”.

Because I’m a first time participant, I received the National Geographic Field Guide To The Birds of North America, fifth edition* (I don’t have this guide, so it’s a nice addition to my bookshelf, though at around 500 pages not nearly as comprehensive as the two Sibley field guides, just under 500 pages each, but definitely more portable), a birder’s field notebook manual, and birder’s field notebook. I was also quite pleased to see that extra stickers for the ABA bird of the year were included,


* There’s a more recent sixth edition, published in 2011, for anyone interested in buying a copy of the NG field guide.

Young Birder of the Year Contest and New Blog

This year, I decided I wanted to compete in the American Birding Association’s Young Birder of the Year Contest. It will be tight for time with other things I have to do, but I think I can do it. There are five modules to choose from. I’ve chosen to compete in four of the five categories, both two major modules, Field Notebook and Community/Conservation Action, and Photography and Writing as my supporting modules.

I had a difficult time deciding what I could do for my Community Action project as I must spend at least 40 hours on my project. If my Summer plans work out and I get to be away for part or all of August, I need a project I could work on from a distance. Fortunately, a project I’ve been thinking about for our local naturalist so club, to improve communication and hopefully  increase interest seems to be a good fit. I would also like to include posts to document the new pipeline activity about to start in the area, which I started writing about here.

I decided I would start a blog and Facebook group for my local naturalist society to let members know about field trips, meetings, wildlife, and conservation issues around our area, to stay in touch better and keep up with activities. And hopefully I’ll be able to interest some new members to join, especially since our numbers are dwindling.

Here is the blog, which I hope is of some interest even to readers who aren’t in our club who might live some distance away, and I’m planning to get the Facebook group up this weekend. I just published a post about native wildflowers and have one flower I could not ID, so if you know, please leave a comment!

Yellow Lady’s Slippers,