Today is the 2nd Anniversary of Birdfreak.com. It is hard to believe another year has passed. Here are some of the highlights from the “Birdfreak year”.
December 2007: We participated in two Christmas Bird Counts: Lost Mound and Rockford. The discovery of a Snowy Owl provided us a thrilling new county/state bird. We created a self-supported survey of a local forest preserve, Deer Run.
January 2008: It was the Year of the American Crow. We purchased a new camera lens which nailed us our 2000th photo on Flickr. We also released the first edition of the Guide to Taking Kids Birding (a new version can be downloaded).
February: We dubbed this month Citizen Science Month which highlighted the important conservation efforts “regular” people can participate in.
A tragedy on Valentine’s Day occurred at our school, Northern Illinois University.
We had our very own Jeff Corwin Experience in Sycamore, Illinois. For the second year in a row, we did our own 72-hour bird count and we broke our record by ten with 133 species. This filled an entire week of blogging. (one, two, three, four, five, six)
We topped a hundred species for the Callaway Nature Preserve, including both cuckoos in one day!
June: We reviewed Last Child in the Woods, a great book that is harmonious with our own mission. We offered up a dozen tips for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s new website redesign. We observed the nesting behaviors of a backyard Downy Woodpecker and completely redesigned our site with a new logo.
July: We visited the Baraboo Hills on a big birding adventure in search of Worm-eating Warblers for our Life Lists. We searched Baxter’s Hollow, Hemlock Draw and Devil’s Lake. The end of July was the beginning of a wonderful trip to Rhode Island for a blogging event at Swarovski Optik.
August: Continuing the Swarovski Optik blogging event, we enjoyed meeting some of the world’s top bird bloggers as well as enjoyed the hospitality of our favorite birding optics company. We were treated to the birds of South Beach, Massachusetts which meant tons of lifers (Arctic Tern!!) and the beginning of the digiscoping addiction.
We celebrated Roger Tory Peterson Month, a creation of ours to honor one of the all-time greatest bird promoters. We started C-Notes, a series of short conservation notes of interest gleaned from a wide variety of sources. We uploaded our 4,000th photo on Flickr, a fun little Sedge Wren.
September: We kicked off the month with a brand new photography meme called Bird Photography Weekly. We celebrated conservation with friends by cooking the Birdfreak Bison Bacon Cheeseburger. Bison are key to restoring the prairie grasslands to what they once were. We photographed a Mississippi Kite, the first confirmed nesting family of this species in northern Illinois.
We updated our popular Guide to Taking Kids Birding, splitting it into two age groups.
October: We presented 31 cool bird facts, one for each day in the month. We sat out our 3rd Big Sit! in as many years, where we broke our record when we camped at Rock Cut State Park. We even twittered our sightings as they happened.
Veery made nationals in a soil judging competition for Northern Illinois University.
November: We obtained a full digiscoping setup from Swarovski Optik and reviewed the parts that make it the best package out there – 80 HD Spotting Scope, Carbon Fiber Tripod and Head attached to our digital SLR camera.
We can’t wait to see what our 3rd year of Birdfreak.com will bring us!!