In rare feat, Illinois teen expected to break birding record


In rare feat, Illinois teen expected to break birding record

For some teens, getting a license means offering rides to friends, taking trips to the mall, freedom. For one Evanston, Illinois senior, it was mostly about the birds.

Isoo O’Brien, 17, is expected to break the Cook County record for individual bird species spotted in a year, clocking 282 species by the end of October. With a little more than a month left before 2021, O’Brien is still working to check off a few final species in the hopes that his record holds for years to come. Topping the record was a big deal for O’Brien, and for other birders, who banded together to offer tips so O’Brien could drive — or sometimes sprint — to a yet unseen bird.

O’Brien hoped to hit 270, maybe 275 species this year.


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