Thursday, January 2, 2014

To the New Year!

Well, 2013 has passed and my photographic big year has ended. When I originally started this project, I had no idea what to expect. I didn't know how much I would be able to travel (I knew I could do some with my field jobs), didn't know how many birds I might photograph, and had no idea the type of support I would get from the birding and conservation community.

I thought I might get a few pledges from some close friends, and maybe a few more from conservation minded birders. However, as the year went on, it quickly became obvious that there was much more support for this type of project than I thought. The American Bird Conservancy began advertising the project in their newsletters and on their FaceBook page, articles were written in local newspapers and eBird even supported the project with an article featured on their home page. The pledges started rolling in, and the big year was becoming quite a success.

At the end of the year, through flat-rate donations and pledges, a total of $5768 will go to the American Bird Conservancy for Hawaiian bird conservation. This is a much higher total than I ever would have thought we would be able to achieve!

I want to thank everyone who donated or pledged for this photographic big year endeavor. The outcome simply wouldn't have been the same without you. I want to thank eBird, the American Bird Conservancy and all the other supporters who helped spread the word about this project in one way or another. Half of the battle was getting the word out to as many people as possible. I also want to thank Debi Shearwater of Shearwater Journeys for supporting this project with the donation of a pelagic trip out to Monterey Bay, where I was able to photograph a Hawaiian Petrel, the obvious bird highlight of my 2013 year! There are too many people to thank here, but, simply put, if you supported this project in any way, big or small, I am extremely thankful.

Hawaiian Petrel
Over the next few days, I'll be sending emails to anyone who pledged with instructions on how to your donation to the American Bird Conservancy so that it is used for Hawaiian bird conservation, and so that it is tax deductible! With so many pledges, this may take some time.

As for 2014, I'll be focusing on excelling in graduate school, working on an exciting research project and adopting my role as the newest member of the Michigan Bird Records Committee. As you can see, it is going to be a very busy year.

That being said, I'd like to continue to do something conservation-oriented. Therefore, if anyone is interested in buying a high-quality, matted print of any of the photos taken on this photographic big year, I'll donate a portion of all profits to the American Bird Conservancy for Hawaiian Bird Conservation. Prints won't be available for all photos (due to image quality), but email me at and I'll see what I can do.

Thanks, again, everyone for an amazing 2013. I'm glad to see so much support for conservation. Perhaps there is a bright future for our winged friends after all!

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