‘Twas the night before…

Blue Jay, photo by Tom Halliwell

‘Twas the night before Mom’s Big Year!

I’m super excited to get going tomorrow! You’re all invited to join me on my journey and follow along via this blog- if you’re not already. (Just select the blue button on the right or elect to follow via email).  I am completely humbled and deeply moved by the outpouring of support I have received from so many friends near and far! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the personal notes of encouragement and offers to house me, bird with me, and support me along the way.  I’m sure feeling the love!

For those who just started following.. I’ll be starting a birder’s Big Year tomorrow. This will be an adapted form of a Big Year.. done by a mom who can only get out birding between baseball games, band concerts, college visits, laundry, dishes, and grading papers. And for those who don’t know, a Big Year is an informal competition among birders to see the most species in a certain geographic region in a given calendar year. As far as I know, I’m the only mom with young kids, a hubby and a job who has taken on this challenge for the U.S.  My Mom’s Big Year was in the works before the new job fell in my lap. So, I’m spread pretty thin, as you can imagine, but I’ll be giving it my best shot!

Looking forward to finding out what my first bird of 2016 will be!

Any guesses??!!

I’ll be out in the field in Maryland most of tomorrow and will send a report. Stay tuned!

With that, here’s my poem for tonight:

‘Twas the night before Big Year when all through the house, my head was sure stirring, with hopes of a grouse; The binoculars were hung by the doorway with care, and then upon waking, out the door I will tear;

The feeders are filled which my husband sure dreads, as squirrels in the attic dance above our heads. I had just settled down after planning my map, and gave one big smile before my pre-Big Year nap.

When ‘ere there’s a rare bird that causes some chatter, I’ll get the kids set and then I will scatter. Out into the field I will fly like a flash, grabbing my scope, camera, bins and maybe some cash.

Scanning for ravens in lieu of a crow, and then finding owls that like to burrow.  But first the more common ones like blue jays appear and then they’ll be rare ones, there’s no need to fear!

Strycker1 I’m not, but that won’t make me blue, for I’m spread thin with hubby, three kids and job too!  While dishes and laundry and dusting need done, the warblers and shorebirds are a whole lot more FUN!

And soon I’ll be driving a bridge2 out of sight, good birding to all, and to all a great flight!


  1. Noah Strycker just set a new world big year record and has seen over 6,000 species in 2015. That’s 60% of the world’s bird species.
  2. I’m using my pursuit of birds in my Mom’s Big Year to help me address my bridge driving anxiety related to a past family tragedy. More details described under the heading “Why a Mom’s Big Year?”





4 thoughts on “‘Twas the night before…

  1. My guess for first bird of 2016…Carolina Chickadee, unless you go outside at midnight, and hear a Great-horned Owl. (that may be two guesses).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am with you in spirit all the way. I too have bridge anxiety. I like to ride over bridges because the view is beautiful, but being the driver is another story. The Bay Bridge used to provide free escort service to drive your vehicle over, now there is a fee. I wish you the best this year in every way.


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