Results: Birding Goals for 2012

At the end of last year I came up with some bird-type goals for 2012. How did I do?

1. I wanted to keep a BIGBY list for the year, with a target of 100 species. This was a huge success as I was able to find 115 species for my BIGBY list in 2012. W00t! I want to try this again next year, but I’m not sure I can do much better than this year’s total. There are 5 birds on my 2011 list that I didn’t find in 2012, but they were all hit-or-miss migrants.

2. I looked to add a few Florida specialties to my life list. Of the four species I mentioned, I added two of them: Red-cockaded Woodpecker and American Oystercatcher. I also added Bachmann’s Sparrow and White-crowned Pigeon… so I am calling this one a success too. Snail Kite and Burrowing Owl can wait.

3. I had hoped to review 20 books. Unfortunately this was year two of epic failure, with only FOUR (!) books reviewed (on I think I will set a goal again for next year, but if I fail again, that’s it. :\

4. My fourth goal was a free choice of three different activities. I wanted to volunteer with a rehab center and handle birds of prey again, or volunteer at a bird banding station, or get involved with a local bird club. Well, I’m well on my way with the first option. I started volunteering at the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey in Maitland back in February. So far I have been able to handle a pair of new little friends.

Newton & Amy
Newton the American Kestrel; photo by Susie Warren

Buzz & Amy
Buzz the Eastern Screech Owl; photo by Robert Stalnaker

I’ve also been able to help out with birds in rehab a lot more than I expected. I’ve been able to catch up a few birds, weigh them and hand feed, and do a couple of releases. I hadn’t included this in my goal but these are activities I very much enjoy at my volunteer position.

Local banding stations are welcoming of volunteers, but none are as close to our home as I’d like. I’ve also been on a couple of bird walks and attended some club programs, but I haven’t joined a birding club yet. I really miss my old club (Lake-Cook Audubon) — but they may have spoiled me for any other bird clubs. Anyway, the objective here was to do one of these things, so I’m calling this goal a success.

5. Finally, I set an extremely modest goal of 23 birds for the Bird-a-Day Challenge. This was another huge success as I made it all the way to May 24th, reaching 144 birds.

Coming up: my bird-type goals for 2013. Did you have any goals for 2012? How did you do?

Share the birds, share the love!
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