January Through December
Inspired by the movie “The Big Year,” DirtNKids will be counting every species of bird we see throughout a calendar year. The majority of our birding will be done as a family in and around the Houston, Texas area where we live. Any road trips, however, will be planned around local in the areas we travel to and through, naturally.
We call it birding, not to be confused with bird-watching, which is something just a little different. In late 2015, we began species counting as citizen scientists, logging lists at Audubon/Cornell’s eBird. It is work to ‘collect one of each kind’ and keeps us hopelessly connected with our environment.
Of the over 900 species in the United States, more than 500 species squat our part of Texas at different times of the year.
The Goal: 250 Species
Birding accomplishes several things all at once for children and adults alike:
- Eyes, ears, and minds will always be open in our surroundings.
- We will learn more about our environment and how our activity affects other species.
- Looking for other animals puts us intimately in tune with nature.
- It scratches a pet itch in a way, since backyard feeders and water stations are regularly managed.
- It forces pit stops on otherwise hum-drum road trip excursions (binoculars at-the-ready!).
- Birding teaches kids about the specific habits fellow earthlings require to survive.
- It’s fun for the whole family.
2014 – Our First ‘Big Year’ … 256 Species
2015 – First of Year Sightings … 254 Species
2016 – First of Year Sightings … 253 Species
2017 – First of Year Sightings … 321 Species