If you think birdwatching is all about enjoying nature, walking around in the woods and marveling through binoculars at a nice blue jay, think again. High-level birding is a real contest, with birders racing around the globe to document their sightings, and one Massachusetts man just set the new record for most species ever spotted in a year by a North American birder.
Neil Hayward, British-born but residing in Cambridge, Massachusetts, recorded almost 750 species in 2013. Here's what Hayward's year looked like:
He spent 195 nights away from Cambridge, drove 51,758 miles, was at sea for 147 hours over 15 days, and flew 193,758 miles on 177 flights through 56 airports.
Hayward, a former managing director of a biotech company, now works as a consultant, which means he can dash off to the airport whenever a new species is spotted. "We could be sitting in a coffee shop and I'd get an email about a sighting and I'm off to the airport," he told the Boston Globe. "It's been impossible to plan really much of anything but the same day."