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October Big Day—6 October 2018

By Team eBird October 3, 2018

Every year for the last four years Global Big Day has set new heights for a single day of birding. This massively international collaborative birding event has been so great we want to have another worldwide eBird Big Day in October. Why October? Because spring is rejuvenating the southern hemisphere and the northern reaches of the world are in the midst of migration. No matter where you are, we’re confident you can find some great birds on 6 October. Let’s see what we can find together on the first October Big Day!

How to participate

  • Get an eBird account: eBird is a worldwide bird checklist program used by hundreds of thousands of birders. It’s what allows us to compile everyone’s sightings into a single massive October Big Day list—while at the same time collecting the data for scientists to use to better understand birds. Sign up here. It’s free.
  • Watch birds on 6 October: It’s that simple. You don’t need to be a bird expert or go out all day long. Even 10 minutes in your backyard counts. October Big Day runs from midnight to midnight in your local time zone. You can report birds from anywhere in the world.
  • Enter what you see and hear in eBird: You can enter your sightings via our website or—even easier—download the free eBird Mobile app. You can enter and submit lists while you’re out birding, and the app will even keep track of how far you’ve walked, so you can just focus on watching birds. While you’re downloading free apps, try out the Cornell Lab’s Merlin Bird ID app for help with identification. Please enter sightings before 9 October for our initial results announcement.
  • Watch the sightings roll in: During the day, keep an eye on how the lists are growing in different parts of the world. Follow along with sightings from more than 100 countries. Stats will be updated in real-time on our October Big Day page.

Try our free eBird Essentials course if you’re new to eBird

We think eBird is hands down the best way to store and share your bird sightings; explore where others find birds; and ensure scientists can use your valuable sightings for conservation. eBird is packed with tools that help you on your birding journey/take your birding to the next level—and our brand-new eBird Essentials course is a great way to discover them. This online tutorial is full of how-to videos that will make you into an eBird whiz in just an evening or so of self-paced study. Explore the course now.

Global Big Day Pro Tips

  • If you’re looking for a new place to find birds, explore eBird Hotspots near you.
  • Use Merlin Bird ID for help with tricky species.
  • Get together with friends and set a goal for your birding—most unusual species? Biggest flock? All the species in your favorite family? The possibilities are endless.
  • Take photos and add them to your checklist—they might end up on the October Big Day page!
  • Make your sightings valuable to science: submit complete checklistskeep counts of the birds that you see; and keep multiple checklists throughout the course of your birding—if you get in the car, end that checklist and start a new one when you get to the next location.
  • Share what you’re seeing with #OctoberBigDay! Here are some promotional graphics that you’re free to use, available in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, and Traditional Chinese (3.5MB download).

Contributing sightings is easy with the free eBird Mobile app. Download for iOS or Android.

This is the first October Big Day—our chance to set a benchmark for the future. Can we get 5,000 species from 125 countries for the inaugural event? No matter what you do, have fun, enjoy the birds you find, and share your sightings on eBird. Because in our world, every bird counts.

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