Birding Big Year

Birding Big Year

Connecticut’s Happy Wanderers chapter of FCRV is sponsoring the contest and you can join in at any point this summer.

This Bird identification contest, (Birding Big Year) began on Friday May 27th and ends on Labor Day. Lists can be submitted starting September 6th to the Wanderers at Prizes will be awarded at the CT Fall Rally on Saturday evening September 17th.

“The Big Year” revolves around a connection with Nature and the Outdoors through birding (bird identification and recording). For many this is a rewarding hobby which gets us outside and observing all the natural things around us. Many of us see and know several local birds by sight and perhaps some by song. Our hope is that you will find more pleasure in these interactions when you know more about our feathered friends. May we suggest some of the following resources in order to make your adventure more fun. 

Start with adding the free Merlin Bird ID App to your phone or tablet and see why it has revolutionized bird identification. Even if you don’t enter our contest, give this a try. About a year ago they added “Sound ID” to their already successful App. Sit on your back patio, open the Merlin App and press the “Sound ID” feature. Be amazed at what your smartphone or tablet can pick up around you. Keep in mind that bird sound identification does count towards your Big Year list. More resources listed below. So, grab your hiking boots or walking shoes, sun hat, sunscreen, H2O and a sense of adventure and join in. Don’t forget to let the Happy Wanderers know how your count is going or feel free to ask questions at

Connecticut Bird Guides and a software app on your smartphone.

Suggestions: Book: Birds of Connecticut field guide by Stan Tekiela

A Tri-fold laminated pamphlet: Connecticut Birds-A Folding Pocket Guide to Familiar Species 

Free Phone App: Merlin Bird ID from the Cornell Lab (download at home before heading out)

Bird ID Checklist:

Connecticut Birds: