Bird Year: 10,000 miles by bike, boot and boat for birds

Fifteen-year-old Malkolm Boothroyd loves birds. He loves them so much that, at the age of 12, he had his own radio series about northern birds on CBC-Yukon. Before he turned 13, he was the subject of a film entitled Malkolm the Birder Boy- Search for the Bluethroat, a quest to spot his favorite species. Now, at the age of 15, he has convinced his parents to accompany him on the ultimate birding adventure: Bird Year.

In the world of bird enthusiasts, a “Big Year” is a celebration of birds, a quest to observe (and positively identify) as many bird species as possible during that year.

Malkolm’s family will be putting a new twist on the “Big Year” with their Bird Year project. During this year, Malkolm, accompanied by his parents, Wendy Boothroyd and Ken Madsen, will travel 10,000 miles by non-fossil-fuel dependent transportation (including bicycling, walking, and sailing), from their home in the Yukon, down the Alaska Highway, along the western coast of the United States, and east to Florida. The trio’s schedule has them finishing their trip in June of 2008, with a sailing trip to the Dry Tortugas.

In order to take a year off from school to complete this journey, Malkolm had to diligently complete three years’ worth of studies in two.

The family will be recording their adventures along the way, as well as their efforts in bird protection, in their Bird Year Blog.

Though 10,000 miles of fossil-fuel travel is a lot for a person in a year, some of the migratory birds they are seeking to protect travel much further. The Arctic Tern flies 24,000 miles annually, traveling to the Antarctic and back to the Arctic.

Malkolm and family encourage blog readers to participate in their Bird Day Challenge to help readers increase their personal birding awareness while helping raise money to protect avian species.

Posted by | Comments (1)  | June 28, 2007
Category: Notes from the collective travel mind

One Response to “Bird Year: 10,000 miles by bike, boot and boat for birds”

  1. Alan Bender Says:

    Wow what a great way to come of age. Bikes and Birding go so well together. It is part of the “Ride Slowly” movement -‘not just for food anymore!’

    When it comes to recording bicycle routes visit one of nicest Web 2.0 apps I know of,
    >>>: Bikely – share your routes