Lately I’ve been thinking about doing a bird outing where every species that I tick – whether I see it or hear it, or both – must have accompanying media capturing it. Photos, audio WAV files, or both. Perhaps video if the opportunity for a decent recording presents itself. Doing this won’t add too much time or effort in the field – but the work needed to curate the results won’t be trivial.
Combine this with a Big Day approach, and one will compile a significant library of the day’s birds. (Alas, with spring migration being done here in south-central Minnesota, I’m probably going to get around 50 or 60 species, tops, in the areas I can walk to from my house.)
Then I thought about expanding it beyond records for species only: for sexually dimorphic birds, two photos would “count” – as would two videos. Then, with ducklngs and nestlings starting to appear, a third category emerges. And with various birds both calling and singing (or begging), one could get several distinctive recordings per species.
Now there’s a path to over 100 different media records obtained in a few hours of birding. Making a similar effort on the weekend with my wife, venturing further out from town, perhaps that figure could be doubled…
Well, now I’ve gone and done it. This is going to be added to my list of new, obsessive things to do. I have no choice now – a simple day’s species count seems a lot less interesting to me than the tally of unique bird media files I can collect. I’ll give it a try here soon, and report… and then… maybe I will add this dimension to my next attempt at Marathon Birding where I’ll also cover 26.2 miles in the course of an outing.