BirdCaribbean's Global Big Day — Join Us!

By BirdsCaribbean May 4, 2020

BirdsCaribbean is excited to be hosting a fundraiser that focuses on the energy, excitement, and comradery that’s associated with Global Big Day! Global Big Day is an annual event in which birders, often in teams, travel around an area trying to observe as many bird species as they can in a 24-hr period of time. Global Big Day is happening on May 9th this year.

Because of safety concerns with COVID-19, Global Big Day will have a different feel to it this year. Many of us will be birding individually, and from a safe place. In an effort to keep the event exciting, and give us all an opportunity to celebrate safe birding, BirdsCaribbean has created a fundraiser that brings us all “together” on virtual teams that can engage in friendly competition to (1) raise the most funds, and (2) collectively see the most species of birds on Global Big Day.


  1. Creating or joining a birding and fundraising team by clicking the JOIN button on the campaign page.

Once on a team, help personalize your team page with fun photos and your own lingo, and then invite family, friends, colleagues, or members of your birding community to join your team and/or donate to your team.

By inviting people to your team, you are (1) raising awareness for BirdsCaribbean and the Journal of Caribbean Ornithology, (2) encouraging more fundraising to keep the Journal going, and (3) promoting Global Big Day and the importance of conserving birds and their habitats.

and/or . . . 

  1. Simply making a donation to one of the birding and fundraising teams.

By doing so, you will have (1) helped support the Journal, and (2) encouraged that team to bird as hard as they can on Global Big Day.

and/or . . .

  1. Committing to spending some time (or the entire day!) birding on Global Big Day (May 9), being sure to keep track of what you see and then entering that information into eBird. We hope everyone will do this, whether or not they join a team or fundraise.

This will be a fun event to fundraise for and get excited about! Be ready to set yourself up in a safe place* and go birdwatching for as much of the day as possible, knowing that all of your teammates, friends, and BirdsCaribbean community members are doing the same!

Everyone should plan to submit their observations to eBird (or eBird Caribbean). Then we’ll tally them up and see how we all did! We will send out more information about this as the event draws closer. 


We are living in unprecedented times. The important role that science is playing in understanding COVID-19 and finding solutions is more clear than ever. What science does to inform and improve public health, it also does for conservation of wildlife and nature.

BirdsCaribbean’s mission is to conserve birds and habitats throughout the Caribbean islands. This depends in large part on science—investigating causes of species decline that can then inform management and conservation actions.

To share that science, our community of researchers depends on the Journal of Caribbean Ornithology (JCO). This in-house, peer-reviewed publication has served our community for 32 years and counting. But the JCO needs help to keep its publications free and open-access to the world. Explore the JCO here.


This fundraiser will benefit the Journal of Caribbean Ornithology. We are proud of our Journal and want to keep it free and open access to everyone. To do this, we need help fundraising to cover the Journal’s modest operating costs.

JCO has recently experienced remarkable growth, including adding many new and talented staff members, creating a highly efficient workflow, building a new website, completing fully-accessible Archives dating back to Volume 1, Issue 1 in 1988, and so much more.

JCO is an invaluable resource to thousands of Caribbean students, researchers, and conservationists, providing an unparalleled body of ornithological knowledge for the Caribbean region through its free, fully searchable website. This is why we are asking for your help in fundraising for JCO.

No matter what, we hope everyone will participate. You can bird by yourself, create a team or join a team, and then fundraise! Or you can simply make a donation, investing in science to help Caribbean birds. No gift is too large or too small.

 As with everything in the Caribbean we will be successful when our whole community pitches in, so let’s do this together. We know we can count on you to help!


Global Big Day is organized by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Last year, people in more than 175 countries participated, setting a record for the most birds seen in one day all over the globe. Learn more here about this important citizen scientist initiative.


(1) the team that raises the most funds

(2) the team with the most creative name and stylish fundraising page

(3) the team that sees the most bird species on Global Big Day

(4) the team that sees the most endemic species on Global Big Day

(5) the team with the best “find” of the day (unusual, rare, plumage aberration, etc.)

(6) the team with the best bird photo of the day (must be posted on eBird along with your list)

There will also be “Hidden Prizes”; the categories for these will be announced just prior to Global Big Day AND throughout the day on Global Big Day.


*Given the safety concerns the COVID-19 virus presents for doing Global Big Day counts, we recommend that you bird in your backyard. If it is safe to go out on May 9th be sure to choose birding locations that (1) comply with your municipality’s COVID-19 safety guidelines (i.e. social distancing and travel guidelines), and (2) comply with your personal safety preferences. And so whether you we will be birding at a local park, within your own backyards, or from your bedroom windows, we will all be enjoying the opportunity to distract ourselves with some safe, fun birdwatching. Additionally, we will all be birdwatching “together” for a great cause that unites us!

Thanks in advance for participating and supporting our fundraiser, however you can! We hope to see lots of teams forming throughout the Caribbean, US, Canada and beyond! We will keep you updated with more news and details about our Global Big Day, such as how to keep a count of your birds and enter your data on line – stay tuned!