In 2015, Noah Strycker is attempting to become the first person to see 5,000 species of birds—about half of the avian species on Earth—in one calendar year! Noah is a little over two months through 365 straight days of birding around the globe, with an itinerary covering 34 countries and all seven continents, on one continuous, all-out, global birding trip. To date he has covered Antarctica and much of South America, tallying 1390 species. Noah is using eBird to keep track of his sightings and to help strategize during his quest, as well as to connect with many other birders as he travels. You can see his daily blog accounts on Birding Without Borders. He has been kind enough to write up a summary of his travels on a monthly basis – his recounting of February can be found below!
I spent the first half of February in Brazil and the second half in Peru. During this short month I submitted 187 eBird checklists and saw 1064 bird species, 672 of which were new for the year, bringing my cumulative 2015 total to 1390.
February was an intense month: I stayed on the move from Brazil’s Pantanal to the northeast Amazon to the eastern Atlantic Forest, and to central, northern, and southeast Peru. For the first time this year, I got sick (with a flu and subsequent bacterial lung infection, in northern Peru) and had some significant logistical issues (stuck in the mud three times, three flat tires, two dead batteries, two landslides, and one canceled flight). My luck with the weather has held, though; despite birding in the so-called wet season in several regions this month, rain has not yet impacted my efforts.
In February I saw some amazing birds. It’s hard to pick a top five, but I enjoyed the Black-chested Tyrant in northern Brazil, the Golden-tailed Parrotlet in eastern Brazil, the Golden-backed Mountain-Tanager in central Peru, and the Marvelous Spatuletail and Long-whiskered Owlet in northern Peru!
It’s also hard to choose a list of favorite “birding outings” for the month, but I’ll do my best: Here are my top five eBird checklists for February:
GUNMA Reserve (Para province, Brazil, 6 Feb):
Boa Nova wet forest (Bahia province, Brazil, 10 Feb):
Chaparri park (Lambayeque district, Peru, 19 Feb):
Iquitos white-sand forest (Loreto district, Peru, 26 Feb):
Villa Carmen Biological Station (Cusco district, Peru, 28 Feb):