In 2011, I embarked on something big. As some of you know, and some of you don’t, I’m a Birdwatcher. Get the laughs out now if this is new news. But honestly, I’m pretty serious about it. So serious, in fact, that in 2011, I did something called a Big Year. What’s a Big Year? Well, it’s when a birder spends 365 days attempting to see as many different bird species as possible. A Big Year usually has geographical constraints as well. Mine were Ontario, Canada.
I documented the entire process. Why? There are a few reasons. Mostly to try and change the stereotypes of what a Birdwatcher is. You know, the people in Tilley hats thing. There’s nothing wrong with that birder, but not all birders are created equal. Secondly, I’d like to see what it’s like to make a documentary film. The third reason is to bring this very enjoyable past time to a younger generation. And last but not least, to make people aware of how fragile and important our winged friends are to the environment.
To make it a bit more interesting, I got a Tattoo throughout my Big Year. But not just any tattoo, (I already have lots of those) I’m tattooed the latin name of each and every bird species I saw on my body. I got to 234 unique species of birds. If you know latin bird names, that's 468 words.
The bigger challenge for me was attempting a Big Year while balancing my busy family life (I have twins and I'm married to a very talented and busy illustrator) and a very stressful career (I’m an award winning Art Director/Creative Director in advertising). When I’m not with my family or writing ads, I spend what’s left of my free time either birding, buying music, growing my own food or working as a freelance Graphic Designer.
Thanks for your valuable time.
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Punk Rock Big Year
|Original image by Rob Martin and Punkbirder.|