In partnership with Central Community College and the Nebraska Nature & Visitor Center, we are planning a series of programs and events throughout the 2012 spring migration season to celebrate birds and birding.
We are using the book "The Big Year" by Mark Obmascik and movie of the same name starring Jack Black, Owen Wilson, and Steve Martin as our inspiration. The story follows three birdwatchers as they crisscross North America during their birding "Big Year", which is when a birder tries to see as many species as possible in one calendar year. The story does not require an interest in birds to enjoy, but it certainly sparks curiosity about birds and birdwatching.
Our goal is to attract new individuals to birds and birding, and to offer opportunities to existing birders to deepen their engagement with their hobby. The highlight of our event series will be hosting Greg Miller, one of the birders featured in The Big Year who was played by Jack Black in the movie.
Calendar of Events:
Jan 1: Kickoff "Nebraska's Big Year" Facebook page - a positive, encouraging online community for beginning and casual birders.
Jan 21: Birds and Bagels at Nebraska Nature and Visitor Center
Feb 18: Birds and Bagels at Nebraska Nature and Visitor Center
Feb 20: Bird Feeding and Backyard Habitat at Central Community College-G.I.
Mar 14, 7-8pm: The Big Year Book Discussion sponsored by the Grand Island Public Library. Free and open to the public. Call 308-382-6468 x24 or
for more information.
Mar 15-18: Rivers and Wildlife Celebration, Kearney
Mar 21, 6:30-9pm: Beyond the Screen sponsored by Central Community College. Screening and discussion of "The Big Year" movie with special guest Greg Miller. Free and open to the public. This session at Hornady Marshall Auditorium at College Park will focus on the movie and Greg's perspective on serving as inspiration and consultant for Hollywood. Volunteers from Raptor Recovery Nebraska will have live raptors on display prior to the movie, as well as other nonprofit booths and displays. Movie starts at 7pm.
Mar 22: Greg Miller appears on NTV's Good Morning Nebraska
Mar 22: Greg Miller at Doniphan-Trumbull Public School sponsored by Moonshell Arts & Humanities (closed to the public).
Mar 22, 7-8pm: Q & A with The Big Year's Greg Miller sponsored by the Grand Island Public Library. Free and open to the public. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask Greg questions about The Big Year book, his feelings about being the book subject, or any other questions that come to mind in this relaxed, intimate session at the Library.
Mar 24: "The Big Morning" Birding Trip (pdf, 611 kb) w/Greg Miller (registration required) sponsored by Wild Bird Habitat Store. Departing from Nebraska Nature and Visitor Center.
Mar 24, 2-3pm: Greg Miller presentation "Swamps, Mountaintops, and Cheap Motels: My Big Year Travelogue". Free and open to the public at Nebraska Nature and Visitor Center.
Mar 24, 7-9pm: Greg Miller presentation "The Big Year: the Triumph of Nature and the Human Spirit" sponsored by Central Community College. At Nebraska Nature and Visitor Center (free, registration required).
Apr 13-15: Nebraska Nature and Visitor Center's Chicken and Stars
May 10-12: Beginning Birding at Central Community College-G.I. and Bader Park
To learn more about CCC-sponsored activities and how to register, download these pages from the Central Community College spring catalog (pdf, 263kb).