Big Year Birding is a Salute to the Birds of the United States and Canada and the people that follow them. The authors, Ingrid and Ethan Whitaker, are training for a Big Year. Their home is in Maine and they travel the country, looking for their feathered friends.
A big year is an informal competition among birders to see who can identify by sight or sound the largest number of species of birds within a single calendar year and within a specific geographical area. Big years are commonly done within single US states, a nation, or the official American Birding Association Area. The ABA big year record of 783 species was set by John Weigel of Australia in 2016.
Ethan and Ingrid met in February 2013, and went Birding on their second date. A year and a half later they were married with rubber ducks on every table and even on the wedding cake.
A spotting scope sits in the living room; the guest room (designated the aviary) is decorated with bird art; their bird feeders go through 600 pounds of sunflower seeds a year; and they vacation at birding festivals.
Ingrid and Ethan plan are still learning to bird. We like to say “we are training for a big year”.
Our plan is to do an ABA Big Year in 2025. Our dream and progress are documented by this website.
Ethan is a software developer who has developed “Big Year Birding“, an iPhone, iPad and Android App offering birders a fast, easy way to record sightings in the field.
Whether you are doing a Big Year, local Christmas Bird Count or simply keeping track of the birds in your own backyard, the free Big Year Birding App makes recording sightings easy, fun and fast!