Some of the many highlights from the past year:
Green Jay-During spring break I was able to travel to the Rio Grande Valley with Rob and my Dad and see many beautiful Green Jays along with most other Texas specialties.
Clark's and Western Grebes: During parts of May and June I surveyed birds in North and South Dakota. On this incredibly windy day I was able to watch two grebe species from the car.
Chestnut-collared Longspur: One of the quintesential birds of the Dakota prairie. I saw many longspurs throughout the summer.
Long-billed Curlew: One of the prairie nesting shorebirds in the Dakotas.
American Dipper: One of my favorite birds. This one was found in the Black Hills of South Dakota. I also did bird surveys in the Black Hills for a few weeks this summer.
Lewis's Woodpecker: An awesome woodpecker that can be found in the Black Hills.
Five-striped Sparrow: One of the many birds that I was able to find in Arizona. This sparrow is only found in a few canyons in southeast Arizona.
Red-faced Warbler: Another of the target birds for any trip to Arizona.
White-eared Hummingbird: A southeast Arizona specialty. There were a few coming to the Beatty's feeders in the Huachucas-one of the only reliable places to see them.
Eared Quetzal: One of the major highlights of a trip to Mexico. This "tough to see" species perched out in the open in the same tree as the rare Thick-billed Parrot.
Thick-billed Parrot: An amazing parrot-in the same tree as the above Eared Quetzal.
A couple of us took a boat out near Colima, Mexico. The highlights were Northern Potoo and Boat-billed Heron.
The year ended well in December with a couple of highlights. The first were these Short-eared Owls that showed up at Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis. These constituted a first park record.
Long-tailed Duck-the other highlight came with a few birds that were found along the lakefront. These included great looks at Long-tailed Duck and Black-legged Kittiwakes and other birds such as Surf and Black Scoter and Glaucous Gull.