Birding Without Borders: An Epic World Big Year
In 2015, bird nerd Noah Strycker of Oregon became the first human to see more than half of the planet’s bird species in a single, year-long, round-the-world birding trip. Anything could have happened, and a lot did. He was scourged by blood-sucking leeches, suffered fevers and sleep deprivation, survived airline snafus and car breakdowns and mudslides and torrential floods, skirted war zones, and had the time of his life. Birding on seven continents and carrying only a pack on his back, Strycker enlisted the enthusiastic support of local birders to tick more than 6,000 species, including Adelie Penguins in Antarctica, a Harpy Eagle in Brazil, a Spoon-billed Sandpiper in Thailand, and a Green-breasted Pitta in Uganda. He shared the adventure in real time on his daily blog (audubon.org/noah), and now he reveals the inside story. This humorous and inspiring presentation about Strycker’s epic World Big Year will leave you with a new appreciation for the birds and birders of the world.
Noah Strycker, 30, is Associate Editor of “Birding” magazine, the author of two well-regarded books about birds, and a regular contributor of photography and articles to all major bird magazines as well as other media; he blogs regularly for the American Birding Association. Strycker set a World Big Year record in 2015 and is writing a book about the experience, which will be released in fall 2017. Strycker has studied birds on six continents with field seasons in Panama, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Australia, Antarctica, the Galapagos Islands, and the Farallon Islands. He also works as a naturalist guide on expedition cruises to Antarctica and Norway’s Svalbard archipelago, literally spreading the inspiration of birds from pole to pole. His first book, “Among Penguins,” chronicles a field season working with Adelie Penguins in Antarctica (Oregon State University Press, 2011) and his second, “The Thing with Feathers,” celebrates the fascinating behaviors of birds and human parallels (Riverhead Books, 2014). Strycker is also a competitive tennis player, has run five marathons, and hiked the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada. He is based in Oregon, where his backyard has hosted more than 100 species of birds. Visit his website at: www.noahstrycker.com