Best Birds 2014 Edition

The obligatory moment as a handful of sunlit hours remain in the year: time to reflect on birds past.  The year began with a bang, and a trip to Ecuador, and continued strong through the spring.  May saw a whopping 162 species, nearly double what I saw in April and June.

The summer saw a significant drop between running a summer camp and building a bed (it’s a beautiful bed though!).  Returning to Rutgers, saw an uptick of birding opportunities and species which I maintained through the year’s end.

Lists Submitted to Ebird by Month

month 2013 2014 change
January  50 2 -48
February  34 4 -30
March  25 4 -21
April  22 26 4
May  24 36 12
June  16 10 6
July  5 3 -2
August  22 6 16
September  4 9 5
October  8 17 9
November  5 5 0
December  8 9 1
Year 223 131

What I lost in frequency of birding, I made up for in species. The 2013 list is exclusively domestic, specifically the NY/NJ region while my 2014 list is limited to the same region for comparison purposes and for standardizing the geographical limits of The Bet.

Species By Month

month 2013 2014 change
January 70 30 -40
February 52 39 -13
March 60 46 -14
April 48 87 39
May 114 162 48
June 64 85 21
July 37 32 -5
August  65 40 -15
September  72 102 30
October  57 114 57
November  63 86 23
December  79 90 11
Year 200 222

Additionally, I have 39 species from Arizona (28 unique) and 154 from Ecuador (135 unique) for a world total of 385 for the year.   I had an opportunity to post regarding my Arizona adventures (Key to Life, Sunrise Stakeout, Oooooh for Owls, All the Broken Things).  I didn’t get to post as much as I wanted about the Galapagos (where did the time go?) but what I did post is collected under Galapagos Journals.

My best day of birding occurred early in the year: I mentioned it in my brief update from the field, Birding Trifecta Achieved (Wandering Albatross, Galapagos Penguin, Short-eared Owl).  I’m not sure a better day of birding is possible, ever.  (Unless I get photos of all three species!)


Galapagos Penguin at the Lava Tunnels at Isabela Island. Galapagos, Ecuador. An unreal moment in an unreal landscape. Photo taken January 8 2014 with a cell phone.

I’ll be kicking off 2015 leading a trip down to Sandy Hook tomorrow, with the conclusion at the Meadowlands.  Then on the 2nd, I jump on a plane and head to (hopefully sunny and warmer) Florida for the SICB conference, to be followed with some Everglades birding.

4 thoughts on “Best Birds 2014 Edition

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