Today marks the First Anniversary of Birdfreak! A year ago today the Birdfreak Birding Blog officially found its home at Birdfreak.com. It was a blizzardly day that left me stuck in the snow but the opportunity to transform a vision. And although our look has changed several times, our mission still stands: promote bird conservation.
To celebrate Birdfreak Day we will begin with a recap of the past year. A lot of things happened the past year, most of them good, including a lot of travel in the Midwest.
January: We reviewed birdJam’s software, a great tool for learning bird songs and identifying birds in the field.
February: We visited the Mississippi River in search of birds and discovered large numbers of Bald Eagles!
March: A very tough month as our Grandfather, who we’ve visited in northern Wisconsin since birth, passed away. Also, our beloved Doberman Baby passed away after a battle with bone cancer. We were fortunate to have the opportunity to rescue a second Doberman (mix) who had been dumped at a local airport.
April: We were lucky to see a first for our county, a Lazuli Bunting that was caught at Sand Bluff Bird Observatory.
May: The month of May was so busy it was hard to believe we were able to post anything. Spring migration was a blast and we did a 3 day bird count [day 1][day 2][day 3]. Plus, the 17-year Cicadas made a noisy appearance, making birding even more interesting.
June: Our love for prairie birds was enhanced greatly by a wonderful find of several species of birds at a local preserve called Deer Run. The declining Henslow’s Sparrow was a major highlight to find; and catch singing on video.
August: We hosted I and the Bird #55! It was a lot of fun but also a lot of work!
September: Our busiest month besides May! We had the wonderful opportunity to not only meet Kenn Kaufman, but go birding with him!!
The hotly debated feral cat issue became one of our biggest posts in terms of traffic and heated debate.
October: We ran a series of 31 Days to Better Birding and Conservation.
We had a busy, fun 1st year and have huge plans for our 2nd, including:
- Promotion of numerous Citizen Science projects
- Increased systematic bird counts in our area
- Year long population survey at Deer Run Forest Preserve
- More work on the Winnebago County Birding Guide
- Creation of an Online Illinois Birding Guide
- Operating our local bird club’s booth for Earth Day
- Mentoring Dakota for the Young Birder of the Year Contest
- A Project designed to help Prothonotary Warblers
- A new Christmas Bird Count in our area
- and of course, a whole ton of birding!
This list will grow and change as the new year progresses but the one thing that will stay true is our devotion to bird conservation and the joy our birds bring us!!
Our bird populations aren’t doomed; not when the Birdfreak Team is on the job!!