Last year in 2015 I followed along as Dorian blogged about his modern-day birding adventure, biking 18,000 miles across the lower 48 doing a Biking Big Year.
I recently had a chance to interview him about his experience, but nothing substitutes to hearing about it from his point of view, so I encourage you to click the above link and see his journey.
I met Dorian last week on our Princess Cruise from L.A. to Vancouver, B.C. He wrote up a great summary of our Pelagic Cruise, which can be read on his blog, The Speckled Hatchback. A great read for anyone considering taking a repo cruise on the Ruby Princess.
What do you want people to know about your biking 'Big Year'?
I think it really is a modern day adventure. People think about doing that and real life and responsibilities get in the way. The fact that I took the risk and go and put my life on the line every day on America's roads and ride around really lends itself to adventure. That's the best thing about it.
I biked 18,000 miles in one year. The birds provided the excuse to do that. I had the chance to challenge myself and learn about myself along the way.
What advice would you give to a young birder?
Birds are only part of the picture. If you get tunnel vision on just birds you're missing the big picture of ecosystems- of evolutionary and conservation biology, and environmental stewardship.
Birds are a barometer as to how the planet is doing. Yes, they're aesthetically beautiful and fun to watch, but we need people to advocate on their behalf and on behalf of the natural places that we enjoy.
[We need to] live responsibly. That means not consuming a lot of stuff, not wasting a lot of stuff. Thinking about the choices that we make- transportation-wise, consuming-wise, food-wise, those kind of things. Birds are just a part of the picture.