Mark your calendars for October Big Day—17 October 2020! Big Days are a 24 hour opportunity to celebrate the birds both near you and around the world.
In addition, this year’s October Big Day 2020 is happening during the first Global Bird Weekend. The goal of Global Bird Weekend is to make October 17-18 the biggest ever birding weekend and support BirdLife International’s appeal to end illegal bird trade. One of Global Bird Weekend’s aims is to have more than 25,000 people submit eBird checklists on 17 October—will you be one of them?
We recognize that COVID-19 continues to impact our communities. Even if your local conditions have improved, we always encourage everyone to put safety first, follow local health guidelines, and bird mindfully. You can bird from home and still participate in October Big Day!
How to participate
- Get an eBird account: eBird is a worldwide bird checklist program used by millions 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 100% free.
- Use eBird Canada: eBird has portals for many different regions and countries and you can get Canadian specific content by visiting eBird Canada.
- Watch birds on 17 October. It’s that simple! October Big Day runs from midnight to midnight in your local time zone. You don’t need to be a bird expert, or go out all day long. You can report birds from anywhere in the world—even 10 minutes in your backyard will help.
- Enter what you see and hear on eBird: You can enter your sightings via our website or—even easier—download the free eBird Mobile app. The app allows you to keep and submit lists while you’re still out birding, explore nearby Hotspots, and will even track how far you’ve walked so you can focus on watching birds. Please submit your eBird checklists before 21 October to be included in our initial results announcement. You can even change the portal to eBird Canada in the app by selecting the 3 lines in the top left, Settings, and Portal.
- 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 reports from more than 150 countries. Stats will be updated in real-time on our October Big Day page
Global Big Day Pro Tips
- If you’re new to eBird or want to make your checklists more valuable for science and conservation, take our free eBird Essentials course.
- Use Cornell Lab’s Merlin Bird ID app for help identifying tricky species, then use eBird to report them so your sightings are part of the October Big Day totals.
- Take photos and add them to your checklist—they might end up on the October Big Day page!
- Make your sightings more valuable: submit complete checklists, keep counts of the birds that you see, and keep multiple checklists throughout the day.
- Share what you’re seeing on social media with #octoberbigday!
On October Big Day 2019, more than 20,000 participants submitted 42,700 checklists with 6,709 species. How many checklists and participants will we have this year? No matter where you bird, have fun, stay safe, enjoy the birds you find, and share your sightings on eBird. Your observations will help us better understand global bird populations through products like these animated abundance maps brought to you by eBird Science.