We first shared our idea of the Global Big Day with you 7 days ago. In this single week there has been a massive outpouring of worldwide support, with groups of birders and organizations planning some excellent contributions to the Global Big Day. We’re so excited to see all of these international birders coming on board that we wanted to share them with you. Perhaps it’ll even prompt you to get a group of people organized in your county, state, or country, wherever you are in the world! If you do plan a local or regional event, please let us know! You don’t need to commit to a full 24-hours of birding on May 9th: a short visit to the local pond or woodland or even a few minutes in your yard is still a meaningful contribution!
Not only are we hoping to set new records for total number of species seen by our global team of eBirders in a single day, but we are also hoping to have more people chip in to eBird than ever before. Every checklist counts, so please make an effort to take part at any level.
We also wanted to answer one of the most common questions so far.
What if I can’t enter the data until later? How long do I have to enter my sightings for 9 May?
We certainly understand that many people will be out in the field and won’t have a chance to enter their data for the day. We’d like to ask everyone to try to have their data in eBird by Tuesday, 12 May if possible. That gives three additional days to get your data in the system and by Wednesday we’ll start to compile the final statistics.
Now for the fun part…Where are people going to be birding?
In Peru, the conservation organization CORBIDI has organized birders and groups to cover almost 40 locations across the country, where people will be contributing their part of the Peruvian avifauna! Elsewhere in South America, Argentina has over 350 people participating, and Brazil over 150. In Venezuela there has been a lot of buzz too, so we’ll be seeing some excellent competition between highly diverse South American countries on May 9th!
In Taiwan, you can read about the Global Big Day in Mandarin, where they already have dozens of birders ready to contribute their sightings on May 9th. (Check out the language drop-down on the top right side of My eBird to see your lists in Chinese!). Back in Central America, Team Sapsucker is planning their route in Panama, and will have a lot of company as Panama Audubon has been actively promoting Global Bird Day to their wide membership in Panama.
In Europe, people have said they’ll be birding from Sweden to the U.K., and east to Serbia. Spain and Portugal are heavily represented, perhaps pulling in some migrants just crossing over from Morocco. Speaking of Africa, eBirders have let us know that they will be out and about from Mali and Ghana, east to Kenya, and south to Angola and South Africa.
Asia is represented by the aforementioned Taiwan, as well as a large number of excited eBirders in India, and a small but dedicated group in Thailand. Sri Lanka and India are both ramping up their efforts to get birders afield, even though the temperatures can be oppressively hot at this time of year. Malaysia will be covering both peninsular Malaysia and Borneo, and the Australians and New Zealanders round out the team with thorough coverage of that corner of the world.
How you can help!
If you are inspired by the efforts above, reach out to your local bird club or conservation group to ask how you can help organize. Try to get your friends to commit to covering different areas so that we can spread our coverage out across the landscape and give your home region the best blanket of eBirding possible. And please do let us know about the efforts you organize, either through Facebook or an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The real idea of Global Big Day is to work as a single team of birders around the world, united through eBird, and working towards the common goal of understanding and conserving the birds that we all love. We obviously expect some local competitions and rivalries to pop up (for example, will Colombia and Brazil, the only two countries with a higher species list than Peru, be able to compete with the impressive Peruvian team?) But we also hope that the enduring message is a celebration of the avian diversity of the world and our ability to help protect them by simple enjoying them in the field and being part of the global eBird team.
If you have a Facebook account, check out our Global Big Day event. Even if you don’t have an account, you can still see the posts from people across the globe staking our their birding areas!
Wherever you are, and whatever you see, we look forward to having you be a part of Team eBird on May 9th!