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my year in birds: 2013

My traditional compilation, which is essentially the same as last year, except that I’m filling in the baseline data at my new home and home township.

Otherwise, nothing new as we did not travel. Like last year, I picked up an armchair lifer, which I am counting because 1) it’s my list, and 2) I made a specific trip to find this species to have in “escrow”. See last year’s armchair lifers note regarding list “rules,” although I do not submit my lists to the ABA. In fact, this year I’m letting my membership lapse. Not so much over the whole premise of competitive bird listing — I accept that’s what this organization was founded on and I do support the more conservation-oriented direction they are going in — but because of their movement to providing much of their member services which used to be in print online. I’m obviously no Luddite, but I spend far too much time in front of the computer for business and pleasure. I’ve already converted most of my professional journal subscriptions to online only, especially since my employer does not pay for my memberships and getting print versions are very expensive. Unfortunately, I find that I skim the contents and sometimes the abstracts, but far fewer papers ever get downloaded and read. Same with the many newsletters and other materials I now get electronically.  I have so much more information available to me, and yet I feel that I utilize and absorb less and less of it. I particularly do not want to be tethered to some sort of device to do all of my pleasure reading. Anyway, on to the list.

  • New life birds:  Purple Swamphen. Seen at the epicenter of establishment at Pembroke Pines in Florida in 2002.
  • Total life birds: yep, that was #1100.
  • Total ABA-area birds: 579. No new species this year.
  • Total state birds: 314, nothing new this year.
  • Total birds, Wayne County  (where I work): 264, same as last year.
  • Total birds in my new home township after first full year: 150.
  • Total Dearborn birds: 225, nothing new.
  • Total birds at work: 196, nothing new.
  • Yard birds, new house, after first full year: 126 (though my better half has over 130, I think). It took us a long time to get a Rock Pigeon (and we’ve never had one at the feeders), but I think less than a month to get Evening Grosbeak, a species that I hadn’t seen in the lower peninsula in over 20 years. Turkeys are resident, we’re waiting for one of the Pileated Woodpeckers we’ve seen in our woods to made a feeder appearance, and Connecticut Warbler is already on our list.  No complaints here!


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