I didn’t realize that it was customary at year end to ruminate on one’s previous 52 weeks of avian observation, but I’m happy to take my cue from folks like Nuthatch, John, Eric of Feather Weather, the Birders in Boxers, and others who looked back fondly on their birds of 2005.

  • Number of species seen in 2005: 216, give or take
  • New Core Team life birds: 56 (Last life bird: Monk Parakeet, Pelham Bay Park, Bronx, NY)
  • Total life birds: Core Team List – 354, my list – 364
  • Total ABA-area birds: Core Team List – 262, my list – 272
  • Total state birds: 200 or so
  • Total Bronx backyard birds: 33, quite a lot if you knew what we look out at!

The tally of 56 life birds for the year seems high upon reflection, perhaps because most of them were picked up in the first half of the year. Our terrific trip to Seattle in March certainly helped pad the total. So did May’s bumper crop of warblers and other songbirds, the harvest of a highly successful spring migration. We only pulled 9 new species from June to September, though I added 10 more to my personal list in New York and Nevada.

What might be our first life bird of 2006? I expected it to be some exciting alcid or shearwater, but regrettably, the pelagic trip we had scheduled this weekend has been postponed until February. However, even if we fail to muster any of the winter birds on my list (Great Cormorant, Horned Lark, etc.) in the next few weeks, we’re bound to see a few new birds in the sunny Bahamas. Sara and I will be enjoying some R&R (that means Mason is staying home…the cats will take good care of him!) on Paradise Island at the end of the month. I’m sure the first birds we’ll see will be trashy types, so I’ll predict a Eurasian Collared Dove. Failing that, we’re sure to pick up one of the resident White-cheeked Pintails with dispatch. Wish us luck!

Written by Mike
Mike is a leading authority in the field of standardized test preparation, but he's also a traveler who fully expects to see every bird in the world. Besides founding 10,000 Birds in 2003, Mike has also created a number of other entertaining but now extirpated nature blog resources, particularly the Nature Blog Network and I and the Bird.