Two weekends from now you can sit around all day counting birds and get special credit for doing it.
The event is basically a tailgate party for birders that’s held inside a 17-foot diameter circle. Inside the circle participants count every bird they see or hear. The rules are easy. People come and go. The party lasts as long as you like, but no more than 24 hours.
Some bird clubs use the event to raise money by gathering pledges per bird seen. There are event prizes, too, for Best Overall Count, Best State Count and for The Golden Bird, a species randomly chosen each December by the New Haven Bird Club. Circles that record The Golden Bird are eligible to win $500 from Swarovski Optik. One year the Golden Bird was the mallard (easy). Last year it was the long-billed curlew (impossible in Pennsylvania).
p.s. As of 30 September I’m amazed there are no circles in western Pennsylvania.
p.p.s. You might remember that I mention The Big Sit in the spring when the peregrines sit around incubating eggs for over a month. No, the peregrines aren’t counting birds. The Big Sit in October is the real thing.
(photo from Wikimedia Commons; click on the caption to see the original)