A group of birders at the Bronx Botanical Gardens the other day heard a cry of “Connecticut!” Immediately they rushed back to the parking lot… to find a child saying excitedly, “Look, Mom! This bus is from Connecticut! And the car is from Maryland!” Big laughs all around, but that got me thinking — how about a locale Big Year?
Find your Connecticut Warbler in Hartford! A Nashville Warbler at the Country Music Hall of Fame! Philadelphia Vireo by the Liberty Bell!
Some would be a puzzle. Do I look for Acadian Flycatcher in a park in coastal Maine, or in the bayou? Is my life-bird victory dinner lobster or crayfish? If a Chickadee is in South Carolina, it’s probably a Carolina, but be sure to listen to its song!
While some are gimmees: Florida Scrub-Jay is found in Florida, period. Galapagos Penguin!
I could branch out to finding birds only in their named habitat — What are the odds of finding a Palm Warbler perched in a palm tree? If it’s in a Salix, does that make it a Willow Flycatcher? Can I find a Sandwich Tern at the deli?
And you can wind up your search for Brewer’s Blackbird somewhere like this.
Off to Russia for a Muscovy Duck!