Date: 1/12/21 11:19 am
From: ann maddock (via carolinabirds Mailing List) <carolinabirds...>
Subject: Re: NC Big Years
This is great! Thanks for summarizing, Derb!

On Tue, Jan 12, 2021 at 1:32 PM Derb Carter <derbc...> wrote:

> Since there has been discussion of NC Big Years, I thought a short recap
> of the history would be of interest to some.
>
>
>
> 1987 327 John Fussell. This was the first serious effort at a NC Big
> Year that I am aware of. John was working on the Outer Banks at the time,
> no better place to see a lot of species. This was when phones had dials
> and were connected by wires, Bill Gates had just come out of his garage to
> market windows the year before, and Mark Zuckerberg was two years old.
> John found nearly all the birds, and went on to write the definitive
> coastal birding guide many have used over the years.
>
>
>
> 1991 328 John Wright. Long-time NC birder John Wright broke the record
> by one four years later.
>
>
>
> 1993 339 Steve Dinsmore. Steve was pursuing his PhD at NC State,
> studying shorebirds on the Outer Banks. Again, no better place to spend a
> lot of time and see many species. He is now a professor of ornithology and
> Chair of the Ecology and Natural Resource Management Department at Iowa
> State.
>
>
>
> 2001 344 Patricia and Russ Tyndall. This husband wife team set the new
> standard eight years later. Carolinabirds listserv came on line in 1996,
> undoubtedly aiding the effort.
>
>
>
> 2005 348 Ricky Davis. Four years later, Ricky broke the record by
> four. He birds as much as anyone I know in the state, has one of the
> biggest if not biggest list every year, and this year made a special
> effort.
>
>
>
> 2008 351 Derb Carter. I had cases and work across the state
> particularly on the coast this year, allowing me to work in some birding
> time. I did make an effort to go after some rarities (and missed Ruffed
> Grouse). The first Apple iPhone was released in 2007.
>
>
>
> 2018 351 Jamie Adams. Jamie made an effort two years ago and tied the
> record, which I am sure was frustrating. He photographed nearly all the
> species he saw.
>
>
>
> 2020 359 Stephen Howell set a new NC Big Year record last year. He
> also photographed most of the birds he saw. Congratulations to Steve.
>
>
>
> In my opinion, Steve’s record is going to be hard to beat, given the
> extraordinary number of rarities and even new species for the state this
> year. But not impossible. In 2008, I kept up with the number of species
> reliably reported in the state that year and the total was 273. And
> technology has changed birding and information on rare birds is
> instantaneous if you want it to be.
>
>
>
> And then there is the neglected NC Big Day. The NC record of 184 species
> was set on May 3, 1987, the same year as John Fussell’s big year above, and
> has remained in place for 33 years. The team was John Fussell, Merrill
> Lynch, Allen Bryan, Ricky Davis, and me. There was no technology to help
> then, but on Big Days it doesn’t matter. You have to rely on your
> knowledge of birds and find them on your own. Still waiting for some team
> to make a run at this.
>
>
>
> Derb Carter
>
> Chapel Hill, NC
>
>
>
>
>
--
Ask me about my upcoming book - a photo essay of select breeding
hummingbirds in North American and The Bahamas!

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Ann Maddock
<am.hummingbird.photos...>
Hatteras Island, NC
919-600-4945

 
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