Showing posts from November, 2022

400th Connecticut bird - Smith's Longspur

Birders are, by nature, collectors. When we observe a species new to us, we add it to our collection AKA list. Some birders are obsessive listers and need to know how many species they have seen on cloudy Tuesdays during October while the moon is in waxing gibbous. Others may not keep an official list at all, only mentally recalling if a particular species is new or not. Most of us lie somewhere in between. In this part of the world, one of the most commonly kept lists is the state/provincial list. This is especially true for a small state like Connecticut in which one can chase pretty much any rare bird in a half day or less, no matter which corner of the state you inhabit. When I began birding some 25 years ago, I was mentored by several birders who were very serious about their Connecticut state lists, so I picked up the habit straight away. The first to "400 before 40," I am the youngest to 400 species in the state by a reasonably wide margin thanks to the era in which I