Archive for the ‘administrative’ Category


Sabbatical is OVER.

March 21, 2012

Wow, it’s been over a year since I’ve posted here. Good grief. I think I have some bird-things to talk about.

For starters, South America was as good on the birding front as you think it ought to be, especially for someone who spent pretty much all of 2011 there. I essentially was birding from about January 10 to December 10 of last year – certainly there were breaks in that time, but I had my bird-radar on pretty much continuously throughout.

Now, my birding philosophy last year was to emphasize quality over quantity. It’s always nice to tick lots of birds off lists, and a few of my outings sought to achieve that, to be sure. But overall, if I had a choice between seeing a few things well or just seeing lots of things fleetingly, I would choose the former. It was more important to me to feel like I was really learning something about the nature of bird-life in South America, meaning that I saw the birds within the real context of their lives and life histories, and not just as scavenger-hunt goodies. As a result of this philosophy, I ended up seeing probably fewer species than one might think in the course of a full year on the Bird Continent. It was a Big Year for me all the same, but it will definitely not go down as one of the biggest years anyone ever could have.

A digiscoped Brown Jacamar, at the Cristalino Jungle Lodge in southern Amazonia, Brazil (Oct 22, 2011)

At the moment I am stillĀ poring over lists and sorting data. It will be months before I have a final definitive tally, because processing my audio files will take that long. I know I recorded many things that I couldn’t identify, and at the moment I am still just trying to catalogue my recordings – actually analyzing and sorting them will come after that. With photos it’s kinda the same, although I’ve been focusing a lot more on that since I’ve been already giving presentations on my travels to Audubon groups here in Colorado. I’ll be talking about those in a subsequent posting.

But, just for the record, it’s looking as if I counted about 1,225 species for the year, including around 949 lifers.

Soon I’ll break the numbers down even more, but I just wanted to break the silence first and let anyone out there reading this know that I am back and am ready to talk birds again!