Lately I have been contemplating my birding goal for 2015. After much consideration, I have actually decided not to pursue a particular birding goal during the new year. Instead, I will be doing an All Taxa Big Year, or ATBY! In essence, an ATBY is a Big Year challenge that involves locating and identifying as many flora, fauna and fungus species as possible regardless of taxonomy. Everything counts from birds to trees to snakes to even single-celled organisms. The geographic area for my ATBY is the 71 acre Dorsey's Knob Park where I both work and live.
Aside from the temporal and geographic limitations of my All Taxa Big Year, there is another very real limiting factor against which I must contend. It is the limit of my own personal knowledge of natural history. Although I feel very comfortable in locating and identifying birds, moths, trees and most mammals, I admittedly know very little about fungi, most orders of insects, almost all arthropods, lichens, mosses and a whole host of other life forms. Doing this Big Year is guaranteed to be a learning experience. And really, that's what this is all about. By the end of 2015, I hope to be much more knowledgeable of the biodiversity and ecology of this part of the world that I call home.