ABA Bird of the Year

Every year, the American Birding Association selects our Bird of the Year. We aren’t seeking the rarest, most endangered, or most sought after species, nor do we seek overexposed “greeting card” birds. We aim to pick species that are charismatic and accessible enough to be spark birds, but that also remain favorites for those who have been into birding for years. On top of that, we want a conservation story to tell. And we strive to feature a variety of artists and a variety of visions and styles.

The ABA Bird of the Year tradition started over a decade ago, in 2011, and the program has been popular and successful ever since. The reveal of the Bird of the Year and the cover art is something many of you tell us you enjoy and look forward to. So, for 2022, we have decided to take it a little further. Not only will you receive the amazing cover art on the January Birding issue and your beloved stickers, there will also be a smashing ABA 2022 Bird of the Year Reveal Party: So, mark your calendars for Sunday, December 19, 2021, from 3 to 7pm at Triple Bottom Brewing in Philadelphia!

And if you can’t make it there in person, we will be live streaming the reveal on all our channels, so make sure to tune in on Sunday, December 19, 2021, from 5 to 5:30pm on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and on this page!

Join us therewhether in person or onlineand be among the first to celebrate our 2022 Bird of the Year. See the original artwork, meet Christina Baal (and have her sketch your favorite bird live?!) and the ABA team, get your Bird of the Year merchandise, chat with Young Birder of the Year Katie Warner, and have some funwith live music, art, food and drinks, dancing, and the pure joy of being together again!

Reveal Party

When: December 19, 2021

Where: Triple Bottom Brewing, Philadelphia


3.00-4.00pm   Private artist reception

4.00-5.00pm   Public artist reception

5.00-5.30pm   ABA Bird of the Year Reveal (live streamed on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and here)

5.30-7.00pm   Social hour


Spaces are limited, so get your tickets now!

General admission ($20 pre-sale, $25 at the door)
2022 ABA Bird of the Year Reveal Party admission for one person for public artist reception, ABA Bird of the Year Reveal, and social hour.

Donor 100
2022 ABA Bird of the Year Reveal Party admission for one person for private and public artist receptions, ABA Bird of the Year Reveal, social hour, one signed poster, food and drink vouchers. 

Donor 250
2022 ABA Bird of the Year Reveal Party admission for one person for private and public artist receptions, ABA Bird of the Year Reveal, social hour, set of three signed posters, food and drink vouchers.

Donor 500
2022 ABA Bird of the Year Reveal Party admission for one person for private and public artist receptions, ABA Bird of the Year Reveal, social hour, set of three signed posters, food and drink vouchers, and a personalized sketch of your favorite bird created live by our 2022 Bird of the Year artist Christina Baal.

Buy your tickets

The artist: Christina Baal

Hi everyone! I’m Christina Baal, the artist behind Drawing 10,000 Birds. As this implies, my life dream is to meet and paint 10,000 birds over my lifetime. I have loved drawing and painting wildlife since I could hold a crayon, but discovering the world of birding changed everything. Growing up, I would copy photos and images that other people had taken. Birding was the catalyst that got me out into the world and allowed me to be the person directly experiencing the wondrous things I wanted to paint. Every new bird I found felt like meeting a new friend on a grand adventure, and I knew I wanted to share all of these experiences with others.

My ultimate artistic goal is to create paintings that tell stories and share the emotional experience of meeting each bird, all while making sure that the subject is identifiable to species. In this way, I hope that my artwork can inspire people to fall in love with the natural world and want to protect it. Aside from encountering incredible birds, being a birder-artist has afforded me the opportunity to travel to beautiful places and meet incredible people. By exhibiting my work and teaching art classes at bird festivals, I have been privileged to discover a community of people who I not only connect to as fellow birders but as friends. Since I graduated from college in 2014 and started my crazy quest, countless people in our birding community have been unbelievably supportive in so many different ways.

The first time I got an issue of Birding that featured a “Bird of the Year” on its cover, my young birder self (twenty years old at the time) decided to dream big and to add painting an ABA Bird of the Year to my “bird art bucket list.” The opportunity to paint the Bird of the Year is a dream come true and still seems surreal. I put my heart and soul into these paintings, not only to celebrate 2022’s Bird of the Year but to celebrate the birding community that I love. I am beyond excited to share these paintings with everyone, and I absolutely cannot wait for all the Bird of the Year fun to be had in 2022!

Young Birder of the Year: Katie Warner

Hi! My name is Katie and I am fourteen years old and in ninth grade. I live in Thousand Oaks, CA with my rabbits, indoor cats, my parents and my little brother. I like to read and go birding in my free time.

I have been birding for about four years, starting in 2017 when I was in fourth grade and homeschooled. I had put up a bird feeder and when I saw that seed was being eaten, my dad helped me set up a motion sensitive camera. Five minutes after a test to see if it worked, a California Scrub-Jay visited! Going back to the motion camera photos, I discovered that it was on Apr 25, 2017 at 10:50 AM. I went onto feederwatch.org and identified it. The rest of the summer I started learning more about birds. In the winter I saw some White-crowned Sparrows visiting my feeder, and I caught an American Crow and some Mourning Doves on the camera as well. We had unwanted visitors, too. Some mice were visiting the feeder and were taking most of the seed… Now, during the summer and fall, I put out a hummingbird feeder and in the spring and winter, I put out peanuts and sunflower seeds for the White-crowned Sparrows and Scrub-Jays.

Over the three years I have been birding, I have seen 265 different species of birds and I have been on many birding trips in southern California. This year, in August, I took a week long trip to SE Arizona where I discovered my new favorite bird, Rivoli’s Hummingbird, I successfully chased the Plain-capped Starthroat at the Paton Center for Hummingbirds, and found a Berylline Hummingbird in Madera Canyon.

I have participated in three ABA Young Birder of the Year contests, and was selected as Young Birder of the Year 2021! I decided to enter the program because I enjoy birding. I chose to do the photography, the field notebook, conservation & community leadership and writing modules. I chose these modules because I enjoy taking photographs, writing and I want to get better at taking field notes and I want to help birds.

Live music by Matthew Halley

Matthew Halley is an ornithologist, historian and musician who has been performing live music for three decades in the Delaware valley and beyond. A multi-instrumentalist singer and songwriter, Halley’s original discography includes more than 20 published recordings in multiple genres, several of which have won regional awards and have been featured on WXPN (88.5 FM) and other local radio stations. He recently completed his Ph.D. at Drexel University and the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, where he studied the systematics of Catharus thrushes and the evolution of seasonal migration.

MC George Armistead

George Armistead is a guide & founder at Hillstar Nature. George has guided trips to all seven continents and authored two books: Better Birding: Tips, Tools, and Concepts for the Field (2015, Princeton University Press), and The ABA Field Guide to the Birds of Pennsylvania (2016, Scott & Nix, Inc.). He has a masters in environmental studies from University of Pennsylvania, and is an associate at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia.

The venue: Triple Bottom Brewing

Triple Bottom Brewing is a mission-driven craft brewery here in Philadelphia, PA. Our brewing style emphasizes balance, creativity, great flavor, and easy drinkability. We love a crispy pilsner, a velvety stout, and a piney IPA, and we always have a great collection of beers on tap.

It’s also bigger than beer for us. We are a Certified B Corp and a member of Crafted for All, and we work hard to be a positive community partner, to advance equity and justice in little ways every day, and to uplift those who are doing that work in much bigger ways.

True to our name, we have a triple bottom line: beer, people, and planet. Our brewery is powered by renewable energy. And we’re a fair chance brewery — actively seeking to hire people who may otherwise be excluded from the mainstream economy, including people who have experienced homelessness or incarceration. Because everyone in every community should have the opportunity to craft something great.

Where to stay: Best Western

Best Western kindly offers discounted rates for attendees of the 2022 ABA Bird of the Year Reveal Party! Click the button below to book your room for Saturday 18 and/or Sunday 19 December at Best Western Plus Philadelphia Convention Center, at walking distance from the event venue.

Book your room

Covid-19 vaccination policy for ABA travel and events

Until further notice, people ages 12 and older will be required to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination to participate in any and all ABA travel and events. The purpose of this policy is to help prevent COVID-19 transmission and safeguard the health and safety of our participants, staff, volunteers, guests, and the community at large. 

Acceptable Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination:

  • Printout of COVID-19 vaccination record or a COVID-19 vaccination certificate issued at national or subnational level or by an authorized vaccine provider (e.g., the CDC vaccination card)
  • Vaccination certificate with QR code, digital pass via Smartphone application with QR code1 (e.g., United Kingdom National Health Service COVID Pass, European Union Digital COVID Certificate)
  • Digital photos of vaccination card or record, downloaded vaccine record or vaccination certificate from official source (e.g., public health agency, government agency, or other authorized vaccine provider), or a mobile phone application without QR code

All forms of proof of COVID-19 vaccination must have:

  • Personal identifiers (full name plus at least one other identifier such as date of birth or passport number) that match the personal identifiers on the passenger’s passport or other identity documents
  • Name of official source issuing the record (e.g., public health agency, government agency, or other authorized vaccine provider)
  • Vaccine manufacturer and date(s) of vaccination