At the beginning of the year we set our sights on a final species total of “90% of a typical Big Year on 20% of the budget.” Today, we reached that goal.
A “typical” Big Year shoots for 700 species. With the addition of Gunnison Sage-Grouse today, we reached 630, which is 90% of that total. (Thanks to John Vanderpoel for his tips about County Road 38 in Gunnison.) The all-time record for a lower 48 Big Year is 704 species (held by Chris Hitt). We just need a couple more species to equal 90% of his total.
And how are we doing on the money side of our goal? Well, we still have over $2,000 left. That means we have seen 630 species on less than $8,000. That amount is less than 20% of a “typical” Big Year’s cost. (Exact amounts are seldom published but most estimates of costs for a Big Year are in the $40,000 to $80,000 range. The bigger amount includes lots of travel to Alaska and chasing rarities.)