Faithful readers of this web-journal will not have failed to be aware of our interest in “Green Birding” which I won’t explain here, just direct you to www.greenbirding.ca for information.

A variant of this concept is starting to be discussed in the places where birders discuss these things.  It is not as pure as really green birding which limits your mode of transport to entirely self-propelled methods … but it perhaps recognises reality and allows us to travel just a short distance by car to do our birding.  A small amount of carbon emission, but nothing excessive.  This idea we can call “Home Circle Birding” (for want of any other name)and it works like this – as you know, the annual Christmas Bird Counts census birds within a 12km circle and do it year after year after year.  The home circle birder takes this idea and draws a 12 km radius circle around his or her home and thereafter pretty much deliberately restricts their birding to the territory within that circle.  There is a very handy tool for drawing this circle on a map which you can find at http://www.freemaptools.com/radius-around-point.htm

This keeps your birding very local, keeps your carbon emissions pretty low and enables us all to concentrate on the birds that live near us, our birding neighbours in fact, while giving access to a reasonable range of varied habitat.  Speaking personally, the bulk of my birding is still going to remain within the GreenBirding definition and be in those places that I can access on foot, by cycle or in a canoe (see the third map below) but for those occasional days when I get itchy feet I can “justify” getting the car out just so long as I stay within my circle.

So, this is my 12 km Home Birding Circle for the years ahead …

However …  I have been tempted to fiddle the parameters a trifle – there being a huge amount of water around Montreal and, to be honest, the above circle does miss out a couple of particularly choice hot spots.  Therefore, and so as to ensure that I have an adequate range of habitats that will permit me dry feet, I have selected an alternative 20km circle instead of 12 … but there is nobody out there to set the rules and this works for me.  The essential thing being that you are still birding locally and not travelling to the far corners of the world, country, province or whatever in search of an elusive whatnot bird.

So, here is my 20km radius circle …

And my original self-powered green birding patch?  I think that fits well within a 7km circle with one, fortunately quite close, exception you cannot actually use the bridges  off the island of Montreal unless you are in some form of motorized transport … but as luck would have it that bridge is the one nearest to home and lets me get onto Ile Perrot which is fine for waterfowl as well as reaching Cap-St-Jacques, the Arboretum, Anse-a l’Orme etc.  All fine places.

The GreenBirding, self-powered circle is this:

Where is your Home Birding Circle?