https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-qL4z3f5oM During the week of January 4, 2016, Christian Hagenlocher received news that he was no longer employed. He had just spent the past several weeks traveling around Texas working for a small film production company when the news came - that meant no job and no place to live. What’s a newly unemployed bird lover to do? Driving 2,000 sulking miles back to his parents house didn’t appeal him, so instead, he decided to keep birding. What first began as a way of easing into his new reality, gradually turned into a dedicated way of life. After reaching the 300 species mark, Christian decided that this could be his “Big Year” - a self-driven year of seeking out and identifying all north american bird species (that’s over 700 birds). A feat in and of itself, he decided to make the journey that much more interesting by tasking himself with meeting and interviewing as many birders as he could. His goal was to not only lay eyes on as many birds as he could, but also to discover the individuals that define themselves as birders. He aims to meet 365 birders and record their stories, insights, and perspectives on the world of birding. The result can be found on his website aptly named The Birding Project. Follow along on his adventures as he travels across the country in search of his goals. To learn more or to donate, visit: TheBirdingProject.com Stay tuned to the Maven Journal for regular updates on Christian’s journey and to learn more about our birding optics.