Monterey Bay Birding Festival talk on Sept 24!

Hello, for Bay Area birders or anyone planning to attend the Monterey Bay Birding Festival next week, I’ll be speaking on Thursday, Sept 24, 3:30pm: “Carbon Neutral Cuckoos: Chasing Birds & Planting Seeds.” I’ll update folks on the latest “green big days”, as well as focus on the idea of carbon offsetting birding adventures as a future subcultural norm in the birding community. See

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Can Team Beastmasters break 200 species?

Hello birders, check out right now to see the prep and planned route for tomorrow’s attempt at a 200 species Green Big Day! Josiah Clark, Robert Furrow and Andy Kleinhesselink begin their epic journey on kayaks at midnight tonight, spending the rest of April 29, 2014 birding by bike in the Bay Area.

I spent the last year in transition due to a family move and new teaching job, but this trio of hardcore biking birders has inspired me to share their story.

The current record stands at 181…best of luck guys!

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Last call to share your greenbirding adventures!

Don’t forget to submit your green big day results. We’d love to hear your stories and feel free to post responses to the blog. This friendly annual event ends May 31!

Epic stories of records broken and marathon biking birding are coming soon, well, right after I post my students’ biology grades…:)

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Two greenbirding talks May 8 and May 9

May 8: I’m presenting a talk entitled, “Cuckoos & Carbon” at Watsonville Wetlands Watch, 6:30pm, recounting the story of the epic first state record of Common Cuckoo in Watsonville Slough and the hundreds of birders who descended upon the region from across the US those 5 days.

May 9: Mark Kudrav & Josiah Clark are presenting a greenbirding talk about their carbon free big years at Sequoia Audubon’s monthly meeting, 7pm at San Mateo Garden Center.

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Biking birders set new benchmark: 181 species!

It’s tough enough to see over 150 species in a day by car, but unbelievably, two teams from California and Texas have both broken the US carbon-free record this spring and are now tied at 181!

I’ll have more details soon on these and other amazing efforts this spring…don’t forget to submit your lists.

By the way, most of us don’t have to bike 100 miles to set a greenbirding record in our home counties, so go for it, and then share your experience with the birding community.

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Green Big Day 3.0 begins!

OK, the window is open, April 1-May 31. Take a hike, ride a bike, paddle a kayak, and go enjoy the avian diversity of your region. I look forward to hearing some great stories from around the world!

Rumor has it that the 170 species mark was broken in March by a biking team in the Bay Area…more on that soon.

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Green Big Day 2013 is all of April and May.

Want to come out and play? GBD 2013 will run from April 1 to May 31, so get out those bikes or hiking boots and plan out a good route!

I encourage all birders to give a walking or biking big day a try this spring in your region. You may be setting a record on your first try…

Let us know where you are in the world, and post a sightings list on this website as a comment or by clicking on the results tab and sending in a form.


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2013: Green up your Big Year!

Since the world indeed persisted beyond Dec 21, it’s time to start making those big year plans for 2013. How many bird species will you be able to identify in your home county or state next year? We birders love January, because our year lists reset to 0, and every early year outing adds to the fun obsession of Big Year birding.

Here are two challenges for you to consider for 2013:

1. Try a BIGBY next year. A “Big Green Birding Year” can only include birds that you observe by foot or bike or boat from your place of residence or work. Driving your vehicle to chase birds cannot add to your BIGBY record totals. Imagine making good on resolutions involving exercise, while discovering great birds within walking distance of your home! Check out for more info, to submit regional records, and to connect with the greenbirding community.

2. Do a Big Year that is “carbon-neutral.” I imagine that the majority of birders, myself included, will drive vehicles to go see birds at some point next year. What if we tracked our mileage for each jaunt and using online calculators, figured out creative ways to offset our birding related emissions?

Stay tuned…

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Gray Hawk in Carpenteria?

Wow, talk about long distance overshoot! Birders know you have to go to SE Arizona to see the Gray Hawk in the US. If accepted, this will be a first CA state record. It’s being seen on both sides of Hwy 101, which basically means thousands of cars are driving by this incredibly rare bird every day. So much for keeping my eyes on the road…

So, if you drive to go see this bird, and I know many of us birders will, don’t forget to carpool and drop a carbon offset donation to a local non-profit in the Santa Barbara area!

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Common Cuckoo in Santa Cruz!

Ok, here we go, mega-rarity has turned up in the Watsonville Wetlands at Ford St in Watsonville, just south of Santa Cruz, CA!

If you are from CA and you chase this bird, use one of my carbon calculator links to figure out how much carbon your vehicle will release on the trip AND how much the offset donation will be (divided by your carpool birder friends).

Then, send that donation to Watsonville Wetlands Watch, since they are active in plant restoration in the very sloughs that the cuckoo is lurking this very moment!


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