Home > Wildlife News > Birding > Global Big Day – 8th May 2021 Global Birdwatching Count

More than 33,000 birdwatchers around the world took part in the first Global Bird Weekend last October, organised by globalbirding.org. Now, individuals and teams are invited to take part in an exciting Global Big Day taking place on 8 May 2021.

In October’s event, birders in 169 countries took part. On Saturday 17th October, they recorded 7125 bird speciesand across the weekend 7276 on ebird.org in total. This far exceeded the previous world record of 7,060 species seen on a single day in May 2018. So clearly hopes are high that the latest Global Big Day will set an even higher record!

What’s Involved in the Global Big Day?

On the Global Big Day on 8 May, the aim is to encourage more people to enjoy nature and the birds around them, wherever they are in the world. Birdwatchers record their sightings and submit them to ebird.org, the bird recording website managed by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the US. Hopefully they will also share their experiences on social media via the hashtag #globalbirding.

Luis Eduardo Urueña showing young birds how to birdPhoto Credit: Luis Eduardo Urueña from Manakin Nature Tours showing up-and-coming birders how it is done!

Globalbirding.org is again working in association with eBird and Swarovski Optik supporting BirdLife International’s Stop Illegal Bird Killing as part of the BirdLife’s “Flight for Survival” campaign.

The World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD), is a separate initiative run by the United Nations and Global Birding in parallel is delighted to be working together with WMBD and its flyways partners to raise awareness of Migratory Birds for this event on the 8th May.

Jim Lawrence, Global Marketing Manager for BirdLife International says: “We are delighted to be collaborating with eBird, Global Birding and Swarovski Optik again, to promote participation in Global Big Day on May 8th. I hope that birders throughout the world will join us by going out birding, submitting their checklists and supporting our work to tackle the illegal killing of the migratory birds we all hope to see return each spring. If you’d like to donate to help preserve the miracle of migration please do so here.”

There is a JustGiving page dedicated to Global Big Day where people can either donate directly or set up a team JustGiving page so that donors can support their chosen team.

Participation in birdwatching and recording through eBird is the main priority; the fundraising part of the event is optional. However, all contributions will be very welcome and will greatly help with global bird conservation.

How to Take Part in Global Big Day 2021

If you are an individual, all you have to do to take part is register on eBird so that you can submit your sightings. You can also register on globalbirding.org and be part of the Global Birding community. If you are planning to enter a team with friends or colleagues you need to go to the team globalbirding.org registration page. There you can submit a short piece about your team and what it stands for. You can also include your team eBird page link and any social media or website links you wish to be included in your team listing. Lastly, there is an option to add your own team’s JustGiving page link.

BirdsChile celebrating a sighting of a Chilean Woodtstar

Photo Credit: BirdsChile celebrating a sighting of a Chilean Woodstar

For this year’s Global Big Day there are over 100 countries represented so far, and over 90 teams already on the website (numbers which are growing on a daily basis). Some of our Blue Sky Wildlife tour operators are taking part. We’re looking forward to hearing about sightings from the teams from Lawson’s Birding, Wildlife and Custom Safaris, Manakin Nature Tours, and BirdsChile.  So don’t delay in joining them!

Please check the website www.globalbirding.org for updates. Follow-ups from the event will be posted on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and for further information, you can email the organisers at info@globalbirding.org

Some Information About Global Birding

Globalbirding.org was the brainchild of Tim Appleton MBE, the co-founder of the UK’s hugely successful annual Birdfair, the world’s largest wildlife event. In early 2016 he helped launch the Blue Sky Wildlife business as part of the team.

The official website of Global Birding is there year-round to encourage people all over the world to spend time watching, recording and photographing their local birdlife. These events can then be posted on social media, uniting everyone in the pleasure of watching birds.

The Achievements of the October 2020 Global Bird Weekend

On the Saturday 32,282 birdwatchers took part and on the Sunday the number was 30,954. From every continent – North and South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australasia and Antarctica – birds seen were filed on ebird.org. Visuals were also uploaded to eBird and the Macauley Library, part of Cornell University in the US. Altogether, 50,383 photographs of birds were submitted and 1,101 audio recordings. Two of Blue Sky Wildlife’s clients had teams out in the field over the weekend. All India Birding Tours recorded 408 species in their days out, and Manakin Nature Tours clocked up 392.

The contribution the weekend has brought to science was a welcome bonus. “Being able to unite a worldwide community by asking them to ‘Go Birding Together for Conservation’ has already produced significant scientific data and inspired new networks of communication,” Tim says.

The donated funds to BirdLife International’s campaign to Stop the Illegal Bird Trade helped the charity’s work on the ground to bring to an end to the capture and sale of wild birds, particularly in Asia. As Tim hoped, this mass birdwatching event did, indeed, have far-reaching positive benefits.  “People have become more aware and engaged with their local surroundings and nature and the first Global Bird Weekend proved that,” he says. The hope is that May 8th’s Global Big Day will continue these positive trends.

Taking Birdwatching Further

Global Birding logoAfter the success of last year, there’s no doubt Global Birding has continued to inspire birdwatchers everywhere and will do well into the future. For anyone planning for the post-pandemic world, many locally guided wildlife holidays in global birding hotspots can be seen on blueskywildlife.com. Book direct with a knowledgeable local tour guide and enjoy your birdwatching away from your home patch for a while.

Published: 28th April 2021

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