Season 2, Episode 2, Part Two: Bruce DiLabio’s Canada Big Year

Hello there everybody,


Welcome back to The Big Year Podcast. This is part 2 of my chat with the new all time record holder for a Canada Big Year, Bruce DiLabio.  As I type this, it’s a sunny spring day in late March and the excitement of migration season is just around the corner.  It’s what all birders crave after a long, cold winter in the northern US and Canada.

However, for those in the southern US, migration gets going an about month earlier.  And one of the best places to be in April is Texas and specifically, High Island on the Gulf Coast, where spring storms can bring the holy grail of migration season, a Fall Out. Sue and I will be heading there the second weekend of April and fallout or not, it’s one of the best places to see southern migrants passing through on their way home to their breeding grounds.  I’ve experienced two fallouts. The first was at Fort DeSoto near Tampa Florida in April of 2012 and Sue and I enjoyed one in Rondeau Provincial Park in South Western Ontario in May of 2018.  On both occasions, warblers and other songbirds were sitting, exhausted, like Christmas ornaments on all the trees.  Not just a Kaleidoscope of color, but even carpeting the ground, forcing birders to gingerly step over and around them.  And for Big Year birders, it’s an event not to be missed.  I’ll be reporting live from Texas beginning April 10, and perhaps I’ll run into a birder or two doing their own Big Years.

In Part One, I left you hanging, so we’ll pick up where we left off, with Bruce Di Labio heading out for his 53rd consecutive Ottawa Christmas Bird Count when things took a very unexpected turn.

I hope you enjoy listening to Bruce’s stories of his amazing, record shattering Canada Big Year.  Having enjoyed many of the same adventures, including my own slip on the ice in Nova Scotia, that could have brought my Canada Big Year to a crashing end only 3 days into 2022, I can appreciate all Bruce went through in 2023. Congratulations Bruce.  And good luck to anyone attempting their own Canada Big Year in future. 

Next month, we have a guest from out west.  Krissi Martin,(Sorry I said “Kristi” last month).  Krissi lives in Abbotsford British Columbia and is known on line as Momma Birder.  Krissi is very open about living life after a brain injury, and like many of us, has discovered that birding has had a very positive impact on her life.  We’ll talk about that and the Big Years she’s done in British Columbia and how birding in general and Big Years in particular can improve your well being and outlook on life.  Following my chat with Bruce, I’ll leave you with a brief excerpt from my conversation with Krissi Martin.