Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Big Sit! - This Weekend!

Where are you sitting this weekend?!

The Big Sit! is one of my favorite bird watching events. It is promoted by Bird Watcher's Digest and was originated by the New Haven (CT) Bird Club. For the first time, your Big Sit! can be on Saturday or Sunday, which offers wonderful flexibility to Sitters.

I've hosted two of these events in the past, plus the Big Stay at Farmington Bay last May during the Great Salt Lake Bird Festival. While I love birding-hiking expeditions and all-day on-the-go birding, I also really enjoy the opportunity and challenge of birding from a single small location and playing the game of trying to see as many species as possible.

Being the "tailgate party of birding" some birders may treat this as the laid-back birding event of the year, but not me! Don't kid yourself...I approach The Big Sit! with just as much intensity and strategy as any other birding adventure. The setting does however allow for prolonged conversations with fellow birders which I enjoy, even if we rarely look each other in the face while talking 'cause we're constantly looking for and at the birds.
Avimor Big Sit! location in 2009 and 2010
This year I am hoping to amp up the Boise area Big Sit!. I've done significant scouting to find a birdy venue with such amenities as expansive and elevated views of a nice variety of habitats. Boise just recently opened the Hyatt Hidden Lakes Reserve, a stormwater treatment area in an old gravel pit being reclaimed by nature with a little help. This area has been a secret birding hotspot for many years, but now the city has added a convenient parking area and restrooms. With recent public announcements of the park opening, I thought I might capitalize on its newness to get some press about a birding event open to the public. Remembering that my Pledge to Fledge is not limited to two weekends a year, I have notified all the newspaper and tv stations in my area inviting folks to come and enjoy learning about birds with me. We'll see what comes of it.

Swarovski Optik, an official sponsor of The Big Sit!, has been so kind to provide me some of their sweet optics to test out and review, and it will be great to share them with the public and give them the best bird viewing experience possible. I'll also be digiscoping as many bird species as possible and tweeting them. If you're on Twitter, you can search for the hashtag #BigSit. Bird Watcher's Digest will also host a live stream of tweets using this hashtag.

If you're in the Boise area, please come to our Big Sit! on Saturday, October 13th from 7am until  7pm. See the map below. Cheryl Huizinga is hosting a Big Sit! at Deer Flat NWR on Sunday October 14th. Even though this is a non-competitive international bird watching event, a friendly duel between the Saturday and Sunday Sits in Idaho's Treasure Valley is on! 

If you are in other parts of the world, look for a Big Sit! circle near you or register to host your own!


  1. That sounds like a great time. Nothing like good company!

  2. This looks/sounds rad, and puts such an emphasis on picking that perfect spot.

    Alas, I'll be traveling an unable to have a Big Sit, but good luck to ya Robert!