To join Greg on one of these tours visit BigYearTours.com 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!

DIY Big Year: 10 Long Weekends Species Master List (with Alaska & Hawaii)

DIY Big Year: 10 Long Weekends Species Master List (with Alaska & Hawaii)

Laysan Albatross off Monterey, CA
Laysan Albatross off Monterey, CA – photo by Greg Miler

Here is a big list of all 553 “possible” species listed in eBird format. By possible I mean any species that has been submitted to eBird, an online database of checklists, between 2006 and 2016 as of mid September 2016. I have further filtered the data so that what is listed are all at least moderately possible. But not all species are likely. Some are far less common than others. All target species have an eBird Frequency of Checklists that is greater than or equal to 7% on at least one of the trips. Here is list of priorities I am going to use for the master list:

1 – Species is a year target. This is not only the best location to find this species. It is the only location where one can expect to see this bird on this tour schedule.

2 – Species is a year target. This is the best location to find this species. But it can also be found on other trips.

3 – Species is a year target. But some other location has a better probability of adding this bird to your year list.

4 – Bonus birds. This uncommon species is not a year target. It has an eBird Frequency of Checklists greater than or equal to 2% but is less than the 7% target threshold. This is the best location on this year’s trip schedule to see this species.

Long weekends should fit as closely to the following time ranges as possible.

  • Trip 1 – April 22-30 Galveston County, TX
  • Trip 2 – May 1-7 Hidalgo County, TX
  • Trip 3 – June 1-7 Cochise County, AZ
  • Trip 4 – June 8-14 Flathead County, MT
  • Trip 5 – July 15-21 Albany County, WY
  • Trip 6 – August 8-14 Barnstable County, MA
  • Trip 7 – September 1-7 Kauai County, HI
  • Trip 8 – September 8-14 Monterey County, CA
  • Trip 9 – December 1-7 Clallam County, WA
  • Trip 10 – December 15-21 Cameron County, LA

 

Species T1 T2 T3 T4 T5 T6 T7 T8 T9 T10
Black-bellied Whistling-Duck 3 2
Fulvous Whistling-Duck 1
Greater White-fronted Goose 1
Snow Goose 1
Ross’s Goose 1
Brant 1
Cackling Goose 1
Canada Goose 2 3 3 3 3
Hawaiian Goose 1
Mute Swan 4
Trumpeter Swan 1
Wood Duck 1
Gadwall 3 3 2
Eurasian Wigeon 1
American Wigeon 2 3
American Black Duck 1
Mallard 3 3 3 3 3 2 3
Mottled Duck 3 3 2
Hawaiian Duck 1
Blue-winged Teal 3 3 3 2
Cinnamon Teal 1
Northern Shoveler 3 3 3 2
Northern Pintail 3 2
Green-winged Teal 3 2
Canvasback 1
Redhead 2 3 3
Ring-necked Duck 3 2
Greater Scaup 1
Lesser Scaup 3 3 2
Common Eider 1
Harlequin Duck 1
Surf Scoter 1
White-winged Scoter 1
Black Scoter 1
Long-tailed Duck 1
Bufflehead 2 3
Common Goldeneye 3 2
Barrow’s Goldeneye 4
Hooded Merganser 2 3
Common Merganser 3 2
Red-breasted Merganser 2 3
Ruddy Duck 3 3 3 2
Plain Chachalaca 1
Scaled Quail 1
California Quail 3 2
Gambel’s Quail 1
Northern Bobwhite 4
Montezuma Quail 4
Black Francolin 4
Red Junglefowl 1
Ring-necked Pheasant 1
Ruffed Grouse 4
Wild Turkey 1
Red-throated Loon 1
Pacific Loon 1
Common Loon 3 2
Least Grebe 1
Pied-billed Grebe 3 3 3 2
Horned Grebe 1
Red-necked Grebe 1
Eared Grebe 3 2
Western Grebe 1
Clark’s Grebe 4
Black-footed Albatross 1
Northern Fulmar 4
Kermadec Petrel 4
Hawaiian Petrel 1
Bulwer’s Petrel 1
Cory’s Shearwater 1
Pink-footed Shearwater 1
Great Shearwater 1
Wedge-tailed Shearwater 1
Buller’s Shearwater 4
Sooty Shearwater 3 2
Christmas Shearwater 1
Manx Shearwater 1
Newell’s Shearwater 1
Black-vented Shearwater 1
Wilson’s Storm-Petrel 1
Ashy Storm-Petrel 4
Band-rumped Storm-Petrel 4
White-tailed Tropicbird 1
Red-tailed Tropicbird 1
Magnificent Frigatebird 4
Great Frigatebird 1
Masked Booby 1
Brown Booby 1
Red-footed Booby 1
Northern Gannet 1
Brandt’s Cormorant 2 3
Pelagic Cormorant 3 2
Neotropic Cormorant 3 3 2
Double-crested Cormorant 3 3 3 3 3 2
Anhinga 1
American White Pelican 3 2
Brown Pelican 3 3 2
American Bittern 4
Least Bittern 4
Great Blue Heron 3 3 3 3 3 3 2
Great Egret 3 3 3 3 2
Snowy Egret 3 3 3 3 2
Little Blue Heron 3 3 2
Tricolored Heron 3 3 2
Reddish Egret 1
Cattle Egret 3 3 2 3
Green Heron 3 2 3
Black-crowned Night-Heron 3 3 2
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron 3 2
White Ibis 3 3 2
Glossy Ibis 4
White-faced Ibis 3 3 2
Roseate Spoonbill 3 3 2
Black Vulture 2 3
Turkey Vulture 3 3 3 3 3 3 2
California Condor 4
Osprey 3 2 3
White-tailed Kite 1
Golden Eagle 4
Mississippi Kite 4
Northern Harrier 3 3 3 2
Sharp-shinned Hawk 1
Cooper’s Hawk 3 2
Bald Eagle 3 3 2 3
Harris’s Hawk 1
White-tailed Hawk 4
Gray Hawk 1
Red-shouldered Hawk 3 2
Broad-winged Hawk 1
Swainson’s Hawk 2 3
Zone-tailed Hawk 4
Red-tailed Hawk 3 3 3 3 3 3 2
Ferruginous Hawk 4
King Rail 1
Clapper Rail 3 2
Virginia Rail 1
Sora 3 2
Purple Gallinule 1
Common Gallinule 3 3 3 2
Hawaiian Coot 1
American Coot 3 3 3 3 3 2
Sandhill Crane 1
Black-necked Stilt 3 3 3 3 2
American Avocet 3 3 3 2
American Oystercatcher 3 2
Black Oystercatcher 2 3
Black-bellied Plover 3 2 3 3 3
Pacific Golden-Plover 1
Snowy Plover 4
Wilson’s Plover 1
Semipalmated Plover 3 2 3 3
Piping Plover 1
Killdeer 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 2
Whimbrel 3 2 3
Long-billed Curlew 2 3
Hudsonian Godwit 4
Marbled Godwit 3 2 3
Ruddy Turnstone 3 2 3 3
Black Turnstone 2 3
Red Knot 1
Surfbird 4
Stilt Sandpiper 2 3
Sanderling 3 2 3 3 3
Dunlin 3 3 2
Baird’s Sandpiper 4
Least Sandpiper 3 3 2 3 3
White-rumped Sandpiper 4
Buff-breasted Sandpiper 4
Pectoral Sandpiper 4
Semipalmated Sandpiper 3 2
Western Sandpiper 3 2
Short-billed Dowitcher 3 2 3
Long-billed Dowitcher 3 2
Wilson’s Snipe 3 2
American Woodcock 1
Wilson’s Phalarope 2 3 3
Red-necked Phalarope 1
Red Phalarope 4
Spotted Sandpiper 3 3 2 3 3 3 3
Solitary Sandpiper 4
Wandering Tattler 1
Greater Yellowlegs 3 3 3 2
Willet 2 3 3 3 3
Lesser Yellowlegs 3 3 3 2
South Polar Skua 4
Pomarine Jaeger 1
Parasitic Jaeger 1
Long-tailed Jaeger 4
Common Murre 2 3
Pigeon Guillemot 1
Marbled Murrelet 1
Cassin’s Auklet 4
Rhinoceros Auklet 1
Tufted Puffin 4
Black-legged Kittiwake 4
Sabine’s Gull 4
Bonaparte’s Gull 1
Laughing Gull 3 3 2 3
Franklin’s Gull 1
Heermann’s Gull 1
Mew Gull 1
Ring-billed Gull 3 3 3 3 2
Western Gull 2 3
California Gull 3 2 3
Herring Gull 3 2 3
Thayer’s Gull 1
Lesser Black-backed Gull 4
Glaucous-winged Gull 1
Great Black-backed Gull 1
Brown Noddy 1
Black Noddy 1
Blue-gray Noddy 1
White Tern 1
Sooty Tern 1
Gray-backed Tern 1
Least Tern 3 3 2
Gull-billed Tern 1
Caspian Tern 3 2
Black Tern 3 2
Roseate Tern 1
Common Tern 3 2
Forster’s Tern 3 3 3 2
Royal Tern 3 2
Sandwich Tern 1
Elegant Tern 1
Black Skimmer 2 3
Rock Pigeon 3 3 3 3 3 2
Band-tailed Pigeon 1
Eurasian Collared-Dove 3 3 3 3 3 2 3
Spotted Dove 1
Zebra Dove 1
Inca Dove 3 2 3
Common Ground-Dove 1
White-tipped Dove 1
White-winged Dove 3 2 3 3
Mourning Dove 3 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 3
Groove-billed Ani 1
Greater Roadrunner 1
Yellow-billed Cuckoo 3 2
Black-billed Cuckoo 4
Barn Owl 1
Eastern Screech-Owl 2 3
Whiskered Screech-Owl 4
Great Horned Owl 1
Northern Pygmy-Owl 4
Elf Owl 4
Spotted Owl 4
Short-eared Owl 4
Lesser Nighthawk 4
Common Nighthawk 2 3 3
Common Pauraque 1
Common Poorwill 4
Chuck-will’s-widow 4
Mexican Whip-poor-will 4
Black Swift 4
Chimney Swift 3 2
Vaux’s Swift 1
White-throated Swift 1
Magnificent Hummingbird 1
Blue-throated Hummingbird 1
Lucifer Hummingbird 4
Ruby-throated Hummingbird 3 2 3
Black-chinned Hummingbird 3 2 3
Anna’s Hummingbird 3 2 3
Costa’s Hummingbird 4
Broad-tailed Hummingbird 3 2
Rufous Hummingbird 1
Calliope Hummingbird 1
Broad-billed Hummingbird 1
Buff-bellied Hummingbird 1
White-eared Hummingbird 4
Elegant Trogon 1
Ringed Kingfisher 4
Belted Kingfisher 3 3 3 2
Green Kingfisher 1
Acorn Woodpecker 2 3
Gila Woodpecker 1
Golden-fronted Woodpecker 1
Red-bellied Woodpecker 1
Williamson’s Sapsucker 4
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 1
Red-naped Sapsucker 2 3
Red-breasted Sapsucker 1
Ladder-backed Woodpecker 2 3
Nuttall’s Woodpecker 1
Downy Woodpecker 3 3 3 3 2
Hairy Woodpecker 3 3 3 3 2
Arizona Woodpecker 1
American Three-toed Woodpecker 4
Northern Flicker 3 2 3 3 3 3
Pileated Woodpecker 1
Crested Caracara 3 2
American Kestrel 3 2
Merlin 3 2
Peregrine Falcon 3 2
Prairie Falcon 1
Red-crowned Parrot 1
Green Parakeet 1
Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet 1
Tufted Flycatcher 4
Olive-sided Flycatcher 1
Greater Pewee 1
Western Wood-Pewee 2 3 3
Eastern Wood-Pewee 2 3
Acadian Flycatcher 4
Willow Flycatcher 1
Least Flycatcher 1
Hammond’s Flycatcher 1
Dusky Flycatcher 1
Pacific-slope Flycatcher 1
Cordilleran Flycatcher 1
Buff-breasted Flycatcher 4
Black Phoebe 1
Eastern Phoebe 3 2
Say’s Phoebe 1
Vermilion Flycatcher 3 2
Dusky-capped Flycatcher 1
Ash-throated Flycatcher 1
Great Crested Flycatcher 3 2 3
Brown-crested Flycatcher 2 3
Great Kiskadee 1
Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher 1
Tropical Kingbird 1
Couch’s Kingbird 1
Cassin’s Kingbird 1
Western Kingbird 3 2
Eastern Kingbird 2 3 3 3
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher 3 2
Loggerhead Shrike 3 2
Northern Shrike 4
White-eyed Vireo 3 2 3
Bell’s Vireo 1
Hutton’s Vireo 2 3
Yellow-throated Vireo 1
Cassin’s Vireo 1
Blue-headed Vireo 3 2
Plumbeous Vireo 1
Philadelphia Vireo 1
Warbling Vireo 3 3 2 3
Red-eyed Vireo 1
Kauai Elepaio 4
Gray Jay 4
Green Jay 1
Steller’s Jay 3 3 3 2
Blue Jay 3 2 3
California Scrub-Jay 1
Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay 4
Mexican Jay 1
Black-billed Magpie 1
Clark’s Nutcracker 1
American Crow 3 3 2 3 3
Northwestern Crow 4
Fish Crow 1
Chihuahuan Raven 4
Common Raven 3 3 3 2
Horned Lark 1
Northern Rough-winged Swallow 3 2
Purple Martin 3 2
Tree Swallow 3 2 3 3 3
Violet-green Swallow 2 3
Bank Swallow 3 2 3 3
Barn Swallow 2 3 3 3 3 3 3
Cliff Swallow 3 3 2
Cave Swallow 1
Carolina Chickadee 1
Black-capped Chickadee 3 2 3
Mountain Chickadee 3 2
Mexican Chickadee 4
Chestnut-backed Chickadee 2 3
Bridled Titmouse 1
Oak Titmouse 1
Tufted Titmouse 1
Black-crested Titmouse 1
Verdin 1
Bushtit 3 2 3
Red-breasted Nuthatch 2 3 3 3
White-breasted Nuthatch 2 3
Pygmy Nuthatch 1
Brown Creeper 1
Rock Wren 1
Canyon Wren 1
House Wren 3 3 3 2
Pacific Wren 1
Winter Wren 4
Sedge Wren 1
Marsh Wren 3 3 2
Carolina Wren 3 2 3 3
Bewick’s Wren 2 3 3
Cactus Wren 1
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 1
American Dipper 4
Golden-crowned Kinglet 3 2 3
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 3 3 3 2
Japanese Bush-Warbler 4
Millerbird 4
Wrentit 1
Japanese White-eye 1
Chinese Hwamei 1
White-rumped Shama 1
Eastern Bluebird 1
Western Bluebird 4
Mountain Bluebird 3 2
Townsend’s Solitaire 3 2
Veery 1
Gray-cheeked Thrush 1
Swainson’s Thrush 3 3 2
Hermit Thrush 3 2
Wood Thrush 1
Clay-colored Thrush 1
American Robin 3 2 3 3 3 3
Varied Thrush 3 2
Gray Catbird 2 3 3 3 3
Curve-billed Thrasher 2 3
Brown Thrasher 3 2
Long-billed Thrasher 1
California Thrasher 4
Crissal Thrasher 4
Sage Thrasher 1
Northern Mockingbird 3 2 3 3 3 3
European Starling 3 3 3 3 3 3 2
Common Myna 1
American Pipit 3 2
Cedar Waxwing 3 2 3 3
Phainopepla 4
Olive Warbler 4
Chestnut-collared Longspur 1
McCown’s Longspur 1
Ovenbird 2 3
Worm-eating Warbler 4
Louisiana Waterthrush 4
Northern Waterthrush 3 2
Golden-winged Warbler 1
Blue-winged Warbler 1
Black-and-white Warbler 2 3
Prothonotary Warbler 1
Tennessee Warbler 2 3
Orange-crowned Warbler 3 3 2
Lucy’s Warbler 1
Nashville Warbler 1
Virginia’s Warbler 4
MacGillivray’s Warbler 1
Mourning Warbler 4
Kentucky Warbler 1
Common Yellowthroat 3 3 3 3 3 2
Hooded Warbler 1
American Redstart 3 3 2
Cerulean Warbler 1
Northern Parula 1
Magnolia Warbler 2 3
Bay-breasted Warbler 1
Blackburnian Warbler 2 3
Yellow Warbler 3 3 3 2 3 3 3
Chestnut-sided Warbler 2 3
Blackpoll Warbler 1
Palm Warbler 1
Pine Warbler 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler 3 3 3 2
Yellow-throated Warbler 4
Prairie Warbler 4
Grace’s Warbler 1
Black-throated Gray Warbler 1
Townsend’s Warbler 2 3
Black-throated Green Warbler 2 3
Canada Warbler 4
Wilson’s Warbler 3 2 3
Red-faced Warbler 1
Painted Redstart 1
Yellow-breasted Chat 3 2 3
Red-crested Cardinal 1
Botteri’s Sparrow 4
Le Conte’s Sparrow 1
Nelson’s Sparrow 1
Saltmarsh Sparrow 1
Seaside Sparrow 1
Olive Sparrow 1
Chipping Sparrow 2 3 3 3
Clay-colored Sparrow 4
Field Sparrow 1
Brewer’s Sparrow 1
Black-throated Sparrow 1
Lark Sparrow 1
Lark Bunting 1
Fox Sparrow 1
Dark-eyed Junco 3 3 3 2
Yellow-eyed Junco 1
White-crowned Sparrow 3 3 3 2
Golden-crowned Sparrow 1
Harris’s Sparrow 4
White-throated Sparrow 1
Vesper Sparrow 2 3
Savannah Sparrow 3 3 3 2
Song Sparrow 3 3 3 3 2 3
Lincoln’s Sparrow 3 3 3 2
Swamp Sparrow 1
Canyon Towhee 1
Abert’s Towhee 4
California Towhee 1
Rufous-crowned Sparrow 1
Green-tailed Towhee 1
Spotted Towhee 3 3 2
Eastern Towhee 2 3
Hepatic Tanager 1
Summer Tanager 2 3
Scarlet Tanager 1
Western Tanager 3 2 3
Northern Cardinal 3 2 3 3 3 3
Pyrrhuloxia 1
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 2 3
Black-headed Grosbeak 2 3
Blue Grosbeak 3 2
Lazuli Bunting 4
Indigo Bunting 2 3
Varied Bunting 4
Painted Bunting 2 3
Dickcissel 3 2
Bobolink 1
Red-winged Blackbird 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 2
Tricolored Blackbird 4
Western Meadowlark 2 3
Eastern Meadowlark 3 2
Yellow-headed Blackbird 2 3
Rusty Blackbird 4
Brewer’s Blackbird 3 3 2 3
Common Grackle 3 2 3
Boat-tailed Grackle 3 2
Great-tailed Grackle 3 2 3 3
Bronzed Cowbird 2 3
Brown-headed Cowbird 3 3 3 3 3 2
Orchard Oriole 2 3
Hooded Oriole 2 3
Bullock’s Oriole 2 3
Altamira Oriole 1
Baltimore Oriole 2 3 3
Scott’s Oriole 1
Brown-capped Rosy-Finch 4
Pine Grosbeak 1
Nihoa Finch 4
Apapane 4
Anianiau 4
Kauai Amakihi 4
House Finch 2 3 3 3 3 3
Purple Finch 1
Cassin’s Finch 1
Red Crossbill 1
Pine Siskin 2 3 3
Lesser Goldfinch 2 3 3
American Goldfinch 3 3 2 3 3
Evening Grosbeak 1
House Sparrow 3 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 3
Red Avadavat 1
African Silverbill 1
Scaly-breasted Munia 1
Chestnut Munia 1
Java Sparrow 4

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