The Global Big Day was another record-breaker for birdwatching! On 8 May 2020, a total of 52,393 birders from 192 countries recorded sightings of 7,247 species in a single day. This built on the record-breaking results of the Global Bird Weekend held in October 2020.
Both events raised significant funds for bird conservation. Organised by globalbirding.org in association with ebird.org – the bird recording website managed by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the US – the proceeds from 8 May were dedicated to helping migratory species along their flyways.
But the Global Big Day was about more than fund-raising. From the number of people taking part in this ambitious one-day’s birding there’s no doubt that the joy of watching birds is spreading. Not only that, but it was a great demonstration of the determination of people all around the world to protect our precious avian species. And it proved you can have fun while you’re doing good, even if the weather is against you as the UK teams found!
Blue Sky Wildlife gets Silver!
As a global wildlife experience company, Blue Sky Wildlife recruited members of its team from almost every continent. The wildlife experts who added their birding tallies to the UK staff’s scores live and work in Costa Rica and Cambodia, Australia and South Africa, Lithuania, and India, to name just a few.
The combined efforts of all the Blue Sky Wildlife birders put the group in second place in the eBird league table of international participants.
Photo Credit: Global Birding, International & Country Team Results, Saturday 15th May 2021
Altogether the enthusiastic Blue Sky Wildlife team clocked up 1,264 species in 21 countries and logged 147 checklists on eBird. Top of the species’ league table was Neophron Tours from Bulgaria with 171 birds (who also had their own country team), but they were not the only team members with big numbers.
Photo Credit: Blue Sky Wildlife Team eBird Profile, 15th May 2021
Here is a list of the countries that identified over 100 bird species on 8th May 2021, including the local wildlife specialists who contributed to the country lists:
- Bulgaria – 171 Species – Neophron Tours
- Colombia – 158 Species – Jaguarundi Travel, Native Birding Colombia
- Costa Rica – 153 Species – Rancho Naturalista
- United Kingdom – 153 Species – Birdwatching Trips
- Lithuania – 132 Species – Alcedo WildLife Tours
- Ghana – 108 Species – Ashanti African Tours
- Spain – 106 Species – Ebro Delta Birding, Birding Extremadura, Geoface
While also thanking all wildlife experts who made up the Blue Sky Wildlife Team including Beaks & Peaks (Honduras), Birding in Portugal, BirdsChile, Borneo Nature Tours (Malaysia), Bunica Maria (Romania), Bush Trucker (Kenya), Enchanted India, Feathers Eco-Birding Tours (Honduras), Guatemala Nature Tours, Kondor Ecolodge (Hungary), K’Nature (Italy), Lawson’s Birding, Wildlife and Custom Safaris (South Africa) and Sam Veasna Conservation Tours (Cambodia).
Blue Sky Wildlife’s director, Chris Larsen, says the team exceeded all his ambitions. “Every one of the birders who took part on our team went the extra mile to rack up a huge variety of exciting species. Our tour operators and wildlife guides across the world did us, and the birding community, proud. My very great thanks to everyone who took part under the Blue Sky Wildlife Team banner. By putting us up there in second place in the rankings you proved what great bird experts you are. Your enthusiasm and local knowledge can’t be beaten!”
What was Achieved by Global Big Day?
On Global Big Day, more birdwatchers from more countries than ever before took part in one 24-hour period. And between them, they logged more checklists and species on eBird than has ever been done at one time before.
The final official tally of species recorded on eBird was set on 12 May, but checklists are still being accepted. They will add valuable information to the 1 billion bird observations from around the world that have been made to date on the eBird site.
Not only that, but the Global Big Day added nearly 70,000 images and 2,391 audio recordings to the Macaulay Library’s archives. These records make eBird an increasingly powerful tool for scientists, conservationists, and those involved in educating the public about the state of our natural world.
“Global Big Day united the world through a love of birds,” says Tim Appleton MBE, founder of the UK’s Birdfair who initiated the concept of Global Birding and worked hard with his team to make it happen. “It was fantastic to have so many people join together for this incredible citizen science event.
“Most importantly, it was all about gathering vital data on the state of our birds, whether they are common or endangered. Massive thanks to everyone for their contributions!”
The Fundraising and Birdwatching Continue
It’s not too late to contribute to this vital conservation effort. There is a Just Giving Blue Sky Wildlife Page or JustGiving page dedicated to Global Big Day where you can donate directly and help to make the day even more successful.
Globalbirding.org organises these important events in association with eBird and Swarovski Optik. The Global Big Day supported BirdLife International’s Stop Illegal Bird Killing as part of BirdLife’s “Flight for Survival” campaign.
Global Big Day also raised awareness of World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD), a separate initiative run by the United Nations.
The official website of Global Birding, www.globalbirding.org, is there year-round to encourage people all over the world to spend time watching, recording and photographing their local birdlife.
The next globalbirding.org event will be the Global Bird Weekend in October 2021.
Original Date of Publish: 17th May 2021