Jeremy Bensette and his ” Big Year”

346 bird species in 365 days and 100,00 km. How this guy criss crossed Ontario to set a record.

At the last OPMA meeting  on Feb 17 , we were fortunate to hear about the ‘Big Year ‘ of Jeremy Bensette, a 28 year old who in 365 days was able to locate and document 346 bird species in Ontario.

The pinnacle of his success came near the end of his “Big Year,” a term given to birders who devote 12 months to seeing as many species as possible in one geographic area.

The term gained notoriety after the release of a book and then the movie The Big Year, a 2011 comedy, which portrays the true story of a sometimes ruthless competition among three birders starring; Jack Black, Steve Martin and Owen Wilson. If you haven’t seen it, it’s worth a look.

“I thought, this is the best moment of my life,” said Bensette, when he broke the record, surrounded by friends. “It was the number one moment of the whole year, when it all came together,” he said. “I wasn’t aiming to break it but it ended up being a massive milestone.”

The hour long talk highlighted the journey across Ontario in all weather and geographic conditions .The sixty people who attended were spell bound and laughed with Jeremy as he related the various incidents which he experienced.

Thank you to everyone who came out to hear Jeremy! May you have another Big Year, Jeremy!

More information can be found on his blog Jeremy Birder.



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