For decades, the ABA Big Year has been a man’s game, but in the last few years that has changed with more women than ever tackling the grueling endeavor in a number of creative and personally enriching ways. This year’s Biggest Week in American Birding featured a panel discussion that included five women who have taken on Big Years: Laura Keene of Ohio, who did an ABA Big Year in 2016 which, along with three other birders, broke the previous record, and set a new standard for a photographic Big year, Lynn Barber of Alaska, who was the first woman to crack 700 species in a year, Laura Erickson of Minnesota, who did a Lower 48 Conservation Big Year in 2013, Nancy McAllister from Maryland who did a “Mom’s Big Year” in 2016, and, of course, Yve Morrell of Florida, she of the most recent Big Year in 2017.

Thanks to Kim Kaufman of The Biggest Week in American Birding for allowing us to produce this panel as a podcast, and thanks to our episode sponsor, the Hawai’i Festival of Birds held this September on the big island.

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The American Birding Podcast brings together staff and friends of the American Birding Association as we talk about birds, birding, travel and conservation in North America and beyond.

Join host Nate Swick every other Thursday for news and happenings, recent rarities, guests from around the birding world, and features of interest to every birder.