To join Greg on one of these tours visit or call 888-875-9453

In 1998, Greg zig-zagged 130,000 miles across the USA, while trying to hold down a full-time job, aspiring to reach at least 700 species of birds in one calendar year. "The Big Year," a novel by Mark Obmascik detailed his travails alongside two competitors. The book was later turned into a movie of the same title that starred Jack Black, Steve Martin and Owen Wilson!

Big Year 2016 – Rarest Birds

Rank Species Tour
780 Tufted Flycatcher SE Arizona
734 Western Spindalis Florida
705 American Flamingo Florida
700 Five-striped Sparrow SE Arizona
681 Black-capped Gnatcatcher SE Arizona
669 Mexican Chickadee SE Arizona
663 Aplomado Falcon Texas Rio Grande
653 Buff-breasted Flycatcher SE Arizona
650 Spot-breasted Oriole Florida
643 Yellow-footed Gull Southern California
639 Sharp-tailed Sandpiper Washington
632 Thick-billed Kingbird SE Arizona
629 Baird’s Sparrow Montana
628 Spotted Dove Southern California
625 Bar-tailed Godwit Bay Area California
618 Brown Booby Southern California
617 Green Parakeet Texas Rio Grande
613 Bendire’s Thrasher SE Arizona
612 South Polar Skua Maine
610 Slaty-backed Gull Washington
605 Lucifer Hummingbird SE Arizona
600 Greater Pewee SE Arizona


Above I have listed the “rarest” birds seen on the 2016 Big Year Tours with Wildside Nature Tours. The rank is derived from eBird data for the Lower 48 States as of December 31, 2015 based on the total number of checklists submitted for each species from 1900-2015. There are just over 900 species reported in the Lower 48 States in eBird for this time period. All our target species were 1-500, or the 500 most reported species in the Lower 48 States. These were surprises we bumped into along the way. The lower the rank, the more common the species.

2016 Big Year Tours with Wildside Nature Tours were so much fun we’ve decided to do it all again! Check out for our upcoming trips.

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