Adventure overview

During a “Big Year”, a birdwatcher attempts to see or hear as many bird species as (s)he can in North America in one calendar year. This endeavor invariably begins on January 1st and, depending on the level of commitment, can require the birder to visit all corners of the continent during the subsequent 364 days. The most ambitious Big Years typically record between 700 and 745 species of birds while logging well in excess of 100,000 miles of plane, car, and boat travel. Regardless of the scale, those who have undertaken Big Years universally return with amazing stories about the birds they saw, the places they visited, and the people they met during these once-in-a-lifetime adventures.

Biking for Birds is my completely crazy and hopefully fantastic twist on the traditional North American Big Year. During 2014, I, Dorian Anderson, will travel only by bike, foot, and kayak as I move about the continent in search of birds. My movements will be unaided by petroleum, natural gas, and electricity. I will not have a support vehicle; everything I need will be carried on my person and my bicycle. This Big Year permutation will certainly add an unprecedented level of adventure to the endeavor, and it should set a new standard for environmentally sustainable travel.  

The immediate goals of this endeavor are three-fold. First, I want to find as many bird species as possible. If I can complete the proposed route, I should find between 550 and 600 species. I hope my efforts to achieve this goal will promote heightened interest in birds, bird watching, and bird conservation. Second, I hope Biking For Birds will showcase the bicycle as a healthy and environmentally sustainable form of transportation. Third, I have partnered with both The Conservation Fund and the American Birding Association. and I hope to raise $100,000 (or more!) on behalf of these organizations that focus on land conservation and promotion of birdwatching, respectively. The donation portal can be found here.

No matter how 2014 ultimately unfolds, it is certainly going to be an amazing adventure. This blog will be my way of sharing this adventure with you. 


  1. Looking forward to watching your amazing trip, but it would be easier if there was a way to subscribe to this blog or get an email when you post. Thanks! And Best of LUCK!

  2. This should be great to follow! My girlfriend and I did a similar birding by bike adventure in Canada in 2011 Our route was from Newfoundland to British Columbia, so I can understand a lot of what lies ahead of you. Good luck, and may the wind be at your back!

  3. So pleased to have found your blog. Brilliant!