President’s Corner – January 2024 – Viera’s Big Year

So, I love movies. All kinds of movies. I am generally known as the Movie Trivia Queen in my circle of friends and family. A few years ago, I fell in love with a movie called “The Big Year” with Steve Martin, Jack Black, Owen Wilson, Angelica Houston, Rosamund Pike, Jim Parsons, Rashida Jones, and a whole cast of great actors that I admire. It’s why I decided to watch the movie in the first place. Anyway, I loved the concept of this movie even though I have never been a bird watcher – at all. But, the thought of people spending so much time looking for birds absolutely fascinated me. And, this is a real thing! People do this every year all over the world!!!

First and foremost, watch the movie. It is adorable, funny, and heart-warming. Second, and this is the really big announcement, this movie inspired me to create Viera’s Big Year! My team and I have been working on organizing and setting up the framework for people to do a Big Year right here in and around Viera.

There are more details forthcoming but, basically, you track the birds you see (or hear) for all of 2024 on the app eBird and send in your list to us to officially report your sightings. The person with the most sightings of different species on December 31st wins!! We have great prizes to the winner of the contest as well as a 2nd and 3rd place prizes. The Grand Prize is $1,000 and a feature article in the Viera Vision magazine.

We will be hosting and live-streaming an informational session soon for anyone who is interested. We are also creating a pamphlet with some commonly found birds in our area to look out for and where you can go to find birds. There is already a webpage available to review if you want to get started right away: . We are really excited about this year-long event and we hope a lot of people get involved. You can do this as an individual or involve the whole family. And, hopefully this encourages everyone to get outside and look around for our feathered friends. I think you will learn a lot about our environment along the way. Again, we will continue to push out additional information on the contest throughout the year.

So, until next time, please remember … ““Every day, birds that are defined as common are overlooked. However, as you immerse yourself in the world of birdwatching, you come to appreciate the beauty in the common species as well as the scarcer ones.” ― Joe Harkness

Eva M. Rey, President
Central Viera Community Association, Inc.