The Big Sit!™ 2000 Report


350 North American species (up 7!)

84 European species (up 23!)

2000 Total: 432 species (up 11!)

Participating states: 22

Participating countries: 3

Total circles: 67

Reported Sitters!: 276

Ten Highest Circle Counts

122 (112 last year) Bill Bouton, Karen Clarke, Tom Edell, Jim and Karen Havlena, Henry Hilgert, Gale Kordowski, Dr. Dave Lawrence, Susan McTaggart, Alan Minker, John Perkins, Alisa, Jim & Dylan Royer, Steve Schubert, Greg Smith, Mike Stiles & Marlin Harms – Elfin Forest, Los Osos, CA

101 (new circle) Ben Gaxiola on the dike near the Westplaat, Zuid-Holland – Rotterdam, Netherlands

91 (80) SURF SCOPERS – Patrick Dugan, Frank Gallo, John Himmelman – Milford Point, Milford , CT

90 (101) Bruce Aird, Christopher Obaditch, Dick Purvis – San Joaquin Wildlife Sanc, CA

81 (80) – TWITCH WIFFERS – George Chaniot, Barbara Dolan, Matthew Matthiessen, Chuck Vaughn, Vishnu – Lake Mendocino, Mendocino, CA

80 (65) HAWK WATCH – Bill Banks, Nick Bonomo, Tom Bravo, Julian Hough, Tina & Tom Kilroy (chief cook), Frank & Linda Mantlik (Radio 1) Steve Mayo, Deena Myers, Arne Rosengren (chief eater), Lee Schlesinger, Dori Sosensky (radio 2). Lighthouse Point Park, New Haven, CT

76 (new) DUTCH DIKE SITTERS – Marijn Prins, Hans van Oosterhout, Ricardo van Dijk, Hannek Camperduin – Noord-Holland, The Netherlands

75 (38) COASTAL VA WILDLIFE OBSERVATORY – Bob Anderson, George Armistead, Calvin Brenan, Nolan Britt, Sandy Dapkunas, Susan Dapkunas, Mark Garland, Brian Knight, Clarence Mattocks, Matt O’Donnell, Bart Paxton, William Sbrega, Wallace Stills, Brian Taber, Thuy Tran – Kiptopeke State Park, VA

69 (69) Terry Hill, Paul Klahr, Peter Knapp, Lorene Strong, Bill Sauer, Carolyn Raynesford, Vic Leipzig- Bolsa Chica, CA

67 (66) – SITTING DUCK DECK SITTERS – Jim & Susan Hengeveld, Steve Elliott, Stephanie Hanson, Kerry Hardy, Carol Rhodes, Lee Sterrenburg, Joe Van Riet, Kyle Wickemeyer-Hardy, Chris Wood – Unionville, IN

66 (69) Dave Tripp Jr., Fran Zygmont, Dave Rosgen, John & Janet Baker, Nancy Nichols & Paul Desjardins – White Memorial Foundation, Litchfield , CT

State/County Species Totals:

California – 172

Connecticut – 139

Netherlands – 127

Michigan – 105

Texas – 91

Arizona – 84

South Carolina – 75

Virginia – 75

New Jersey – 72

Florida – 68

Indiana – 67

Missouri – 61

Ohio – 59

Maryland – 57

England – 54

Illinois – 50

Arkansas – 44

North Carolina – 40

New York – 30

New Mexico – 29

Oklahoma – 29

Colorado – 22

Number of Bird Species Found in Only 1 State or Country: 167

Number of New Species added to the Count: 22 US/ 31 EU

Species seen on past counts but missed in 00: 90 US/ 23 EU

The Wrap Up

We’ve finished our 8th successful Big Sit!, and it was another good year. There were those who sat in rain and fog, those who sat in wind and those who sat in sun. There were those that sat on ladders, those who sat on lawn chairs, and those, weather wouldn’t allow to SIT! at all. But regardless of circumstance, 266 Sitters and the spirit of the SIT! prevailed.

I want to thank everyone for their patience in awaiting this report. When I agreed to compile results and create this brochure, I had know idea of the amount of time and effort John Himmelman had put towards organizing the Big Sit and creating his literary master (work) synopsis, in the past. My hat is off to you John for all those years at the helm! Major thanks also go to John Triana for his amazing skill at distributing and receiving information and organizing all the circles. He made the event a reality this year!

In an effort to streamline the process for next year, John Triana and I will be creating a standardized form. We’ll also be asking as many people as possible to submit their results electronically. This allows us to manipulate the data without having to retype it, and should make the process much more efficient. We thank everyone for their time and effort on this year’s sit. It was very well sat, as the results testify!

A call for more photographs! We received very few photos this year. I’d like to have a bunch to spruce up next year’s report. It’s a great way to record a great day of birding for posterity!

We made the BIG LEAGUES! The BIG SIT! is in the May/June 01 issue of Wild Bird Magazine. Sam Fried, a BIG SITTER from Bloomfield, CT wrote an engaging article about our favorite past time. There are quotes and photos from several groups. I hope you’ll all get a chance to see and enjoy it (If anyone has trouble finding a copy, please contact Wild Bird or me.) It’s quite enjoyable to read, and to relive the day! Maybe we’ll make National Geographic  some day!!!

We’ll it’s decided. Next year’s BIG SIT! will be held on Sunday, Oct 14. Save the date, and tell all your friends. We’d like to make BIG SIT! 2001 the BIGGEST! And BEST! SIT! EVER! Help us out. Rally your local bird club, the neighbors, the kids PTA, or even your relatives. (Who said that?) Remember, it’s about sitting – sitting with all your might – sitting for fun – sitting to watch birds at rest and in flight!

Make a fundraiser out of it. Raise some cash for your local Audubon Chapter, Nature Center, bird club or land trust. Several groups have already done so successfully. Get folks to pledge per bird. Challenge them with “bonus birds”… “If we find an X, you pay us an extra $5, $10, $25, $50 or $100 bucks… Let them choose the bird, within reason, of course. Sitting for profit, as long as it’s charitable profit, is the BIG SIT! – Dare I say American, way!

One last word of note, always remember, it’s not about how you sit, it’s about with whom you sit, where you sit, and most importantly, it’s about the food & drink consumed while sitting! How do you suppose so many groups do so well?

Thanks All for another great BIG SIT! Year.



Frank Gallo

BIG SIT! Brochure Chief

Ps. If anyone or anything was inadvertently left out of the list, I apologize and take full responsibility.

The Golden Bird

dunlinWon by, as Jim Royer put it, ” A Bunch of San Luis Obispo County birders” participating in the Elfin Forest Big Sit! Jim and company have repeatedly taken highest honors in the BIG SIT! Competition. It seems somehow fitting, that they should win the coveted Golden Bird Award!

Their $500 prize will go to their beloved Small Wilderness Area Preserve, for which they raise money each year, and that raised money to restore the Elfin Forest where they sit. Congratulations to all and to your worthy cause! Well sat!


BIG SIT! Results

Results from 2005 to the present may be found at: Bird Watcher's Digest The BigSit 2002 cartoon 1999-2002 Results may be found at:
1999, 2000, 2001, 2002

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