May 04
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From left; John Schaust, Eric Ripma, Rob Ripma, Brian Cunningham and Jim Carpenter

Last year our WBU Big Day Birdathon adventure was; well, we’ll say it was interesting. Don’t get me wrong. We had a fun time; but, we only hit 119 species because we kept running into flooded roads. Read all about last year’s adventure and see a self-explanatory picture clicking here.

But! This year was loads of fun. It also helps when you get really close to your goal because of better preparation and the birds and weather cooperate. All said and done, we wanted 150 species and we ended up with 143.

Here are some of the highlights for me:

? In the field by 3am birding in the dark: Great Horned Owl, Barred Owl, Eastern Screech Owl, Whip-poor-will, Chuck-will’s-widow, Common Nighthawk just to name a few.

? 90 species before 9 am

? 22 warblers in total

? Not one, but two Pacific Loons

? 19 Greater White-fronted Geese

? #120…the bird that took us over the top of last year’s final number … Blue Grosbeak. It was a special moment as we all just stopped and quietly watched the bird for a moment to honor beating last year’s total.

Overall, we were 18 hours in the field, 143 species and five tired guys. I can’t wait to do it again next year!

Click the links to read about more details from our teammates’ Nutty Birder Blog: An April Big Day in Indiana and The Conclusion.

We are still accepting donations so if you would like to donate to our team please click here!

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