In 1977, a series of articles in Trail & Landscape described a strategy to see 200 bird species within the OFNC study area in a single year.  Although some things described in those articles remain the same, much has changed. The resources available now have revolutionized birding. Also, some once favoured areas no longer exist or are now rarely visited. Other new areas have become important hot spots. Some species have declined, and others are now more common.

Thanks to Greg Zbitnew this is an update/rewrite of that series.  The articles also appeared in Trail and Landscape but are consolidated here to help in achieving the 250 species target.

Trying to see many bird species as possible in a single year in a specific area is quite a popular sport among birders.  Although sometimes it can be a bit of work, it is actually quite a fun project. Aside from motivating you to get outside on a regular basis, it can be quite educational as you make efforts to identify more challenging species and learn about different areas to visit. If you can find a friend or group of friends to go out with, you can turn it into a friendly “competition” and a pleasant social event as well, and it is well known that you try harder if you have to keep up with someone else.

The challenge has been changed from “200” to “250” only to emphasize what is possible for an experienced birder with a lot of time available. The articles are really intended to describe a strategy to MAXIMIZE the number of species you can observe in a year in the most efficient way. The exact total is not as important as is knowing how to do better than you might have thought, without spending more time. This strategy puts you where the birds are and at the right time.

Here are the links to take you to these great articles.

Part 1: January to March

Part 2: April to June

Part 3: July to September

Part 4: October to December