Saturday, December 22, 2012

Me and My Goal

Hi all,

This post is going to explain my blog and what I am trying to accomplish in this upcoming year, 2013!

Lets start with a formal greeting:
Hello! I am Aaron Gyllenhaal. I love birds. I have been birding since 2nd grade, and now I am a sophomore in high school, which means I have been birding for as long as I can remember. I am a lister, which means I enjoy trying to see as many birds as possible. I can tell you all of my lists off of the top of my head. World-854 USA-600 Illinois-349 Cook County- 290. Birds are my life, and I am not ashamed of it.

Now, about my goal for 2013. For 4-5 years now, I have kept yearlists. In 2012, I have managed to see 312 species only in Illinois, which is pretty good, but it doesn't break any records. I want to narrow my search. So, in 2013, I want to set a new year record for Cook County. The old record was set in 1990 by Eric Walters at 274 species. So naturally, my goal is 275 species. This won't be easy, as Eric's total is very remarkable. I will need both a good migration and rarity year to even come close to this record. This blog will chronicle my journey throughout the year, so join me on my journey for 275 and beyond!


  1. Please note that Aaron will try to accomplish all this with one hand tied behind his back, since we will still make him go to school.

    His Dad

  2. Hi Aaron, I have met you a couple of times in the field but I don't blame you if you don't remember me. :) I'll be following your blog and rooting for you to break the record. Good luck!
    Amy Evenstad
    DeBary FL by way of Round Lake Beach IL

  3. Good luck, Aaron. I'll send your Dad a note via email if I happen to see any of the lesser observed species this spring in our area to try to help out. Hope you see some of the Golden-Winged Warbler hybrids.

    Best Wishes,


  4. I'll be cheering you on and hope you make your target. You are an amazing birder! His mom (not a birder but a fan)

  5. Good luck, AG! Congrats on your 2012 list, which tops mine! It's refreshing to see you, your brother, and the rest of the IOS Youth Birder "Gang" continue to bird, post, blog, photograph and share your enthusiasm with the rest of us to help keep us on our toes and to ensure our great hobby continue for generations to come!

    I'll stay tuned!
    Keith McMullen
    O'Fallon, IL