Birds are a source of inspiration and joy. On Saturday, 14 May, people on every continent joined together to celebrate birds for Global Big Day on World Migratory Bird Day—and also celebrated the 20th anniversary of eBird! Twenty years after eBird’s launch, more than 51,000 people spanning 201 countries set incredible new records for the most species reported and most countries birding, all in a single day. Thank you to everyone who took part in this new birding record.
You, the global birding community, found 7,673 species of birds on Global Big Day—nearly three-quarters of the world’s bird species in one day, a remarkable 433 more species than the previous record set during 2021’s Global Big Day. 3,380 species were photographed and 789 were recorded on Global Big Day, setting another world record for most bird species documented with media on a single day.
These phenomenal accomplishments are possible thanks in large part to the efforts of eBird’s partners and collaborators around the world, including the eBird portal collaborator network. We are extremely grateful to work with these inspiring groups. Thanks also to Carl Zeiss Sports Optics for their continuing sponsorship of eBirder of the Month, including the opportunity to win new Zeiss SFL binoculars by participating in Global Big Day.
Global Big Day by the numbers
- 289,493 people identified birds with Merlin Bird ID
- 132,350 checklists submitted
- 51,455 eBirders from 201 countries
- 7,673 species recorded
- 63,358 photos shared with the Macaulay Library
- 2,958 audio recordings shared with the Macaulay Library
Whether you teamed up with friends or birded individually, by participating in Global Big Day you were a member of the biggest team in birding. Here are some stories from the Global Big Day community around the world. Mark your calendars for another opportunity to celebrate birds on October Big Day—8 October 2022.
Global Birding Teams
Global Big Day is an opportunity to go birding with friends both near and far. Massive thanks to Penny Robinson and Tim Appleton at Global Birding, who have created a great platform to engage in Global Big Day as a team. Below are a few of the many teams that had a good time on Global Big Day.
eBird Taiwan partners at the Taiwan Wild Bird Federation teamed up as the “Taiwan Treepies”. In their quest to find a Fairy Pitta on Global Big Day they also encountered Savanna Nightjar, Malayan Night-Heron, and 58 other species.
The remote island of St. Kilda is known for its large colonies of nesting seabirds. The St. Kilda Rangers team showed that you don’t have to find a lot of species to see a lot of birds on Global Big Day—and have a fantastic day as well!
A modest total of 33 species recorded for #globalbigday today on #StKilda. Sure we'd do well if the actual number of birds were counted! Thanks to @global_birding and @Team_eBird for bringing the international #birding community together! Here's some of today's highlights: https://t.co/sqEO5xHlQY pic.twitter.com/ip8t5PLCGX
— St Kilda Rangers (@StKildaNTS) May 14, 2022
Teams from the Lekki Bird Club and Jos Bird Club counted birds in different regions of Nigeria, contributing to the country’s 244 total species on Global Big Day. Thank you! We enjoyed reading Janet Faden’s reflections on birding the Mazah region of Jos, Nigeria on Global Big Day.
— Dr. Sam T. IVANDE (@ivandesamtee) May 14, 2022
New ways to discover and share birds
This year’s Global Big Day was the first with eBird Trip Reports—a fun way to share where you went and what you found on Global Big Day. Below are a few of the 1,015 eBird Trip Reports created for Global Big Day. It’s not too late to create and share your own! Visit https://ebird.org/mytripreports and create a report for 14 May (learn more about eBird Trip Reports).
- Peter Kyne and Magen Pettit had a bicycling big day around Darwin, Australia.
- “Team Champions of the Flyway of BirdLife Israel” Yoav Perlman, Jonathan Meyrav, and Rea Shaish found 122 species before 42° C (107° F) temperatures cut their birding short. (Read Yoav’s account of the day)
- Ethan and Ingrid Whitaker tried to match their previous personal big day record (110 species) across Maine, US.
- eBird Trip Reports also display how many individuals of each species you found. Members of the Andaman Avians Club counted over 1,000 individual birds on Andaman Island during Global Big Day!
I headed out to northwest County Mayo for @Team_eBird #GlobalBigDay: 90 species in total, despite a number of notable omissions. 78 of those were around the Mullet with @perilsofbirding, the highlight being views of two Corncrakes yapping at each other. https://t.co/9IxKtkTX0d pic.twitter.com/htqtxn6op1
— Mike Hoit (@MikeHoit) May 15, 2022
Another new Global Big Day birding resource is Merlin Bird ID’s Sound ID. More than 128,000 people in the US, Canada, and Europe used Merlin Sound ID to help them identify bird songs and calls on Global Big Day, including Canadian birders Rochelle Strauss and Manjula Selvarajah. Red-winged Blackbirds and Yellow Warblers were “the soundtrack to my day!” as Rochelle describes it.
— Rochelle Strauss (she/her) (@rochellestrauss) May 14, 2022
— Manjula Selvarajah (@manjaselva) May 14, 2022
Las Aves Nos Unen / Birds Unite Our World
Global Big Day is more than just the biggest day in birding—it’s an important opportunity to come together in support of bird populations. Bird Count India, Bird Conservation Nepal, and the Royal Society for Protection of Birds, Bhutan joined forces to launch the inaugural Himalayan Bird Count as part of Global Big Day. The initiative aimed to share “the wonders of nature” while gathering benchmark population data of unique bird species in the Himalayan region.
The first edition of #himalayanbirdcount2022 team birds club of Ladakh ready. We were joined by 2 American and 1 European birders today.#endemicbirdday #globalbigday @birdcountindia pic.twitter.com/IK4xXSgztu
— Padma Gyalpo (@GyalpoPadma) May 14, 2022
The efforts of Himalayan Bird Count coordinators and participants—reporting 607 species on nearly 1,000 checklists during Global Big Day—made national headlines and collected important baseline information on bird populations for future studies.
In New South Wales, Australia, members of the public joined staff of the National Parks and Wildlife Service and Environment Heritage Group to document the more than 375 native species in national parks of New South Wales, Australia. According to their website “this will showcase the incredible biodiversity in NSW’s 7.5 million hectares of protected area and will contribute to the collection of lots of great data. This data will feed directly into our conservation programs.”
The combined “Team NSW National Parks” received national attention, and was even promoted by their Environmental Minister!
Hundreds of birdwatchers across NSW are taking part in a global competition to try and find our rarest species and as many of them as possible.
— 9News Sydney (@9NewsSyd) May 15, 2022
#LasAvesNosUnen (Birds Unite Us) was the Global Big Day 2022 slogan in Colombia. We couldn’t agree more. From around the world, images and stories of people birding together on Global Big Day sent a powerful message of hope and solidarity.
¡Apasionante! Así fue el #GlobalBigDay en el Meta. En los termales del Encanto de Guaicaramo, en Barranca de Upía; también disfrutamos, conocimos y enamoramos a Colombia y al mundo de la majestuosidad y riqueza en especies de aves de nuestra región. #LasAvesNosUnen pic.twitter.com/ibWeZTpRhG
— Juan Guillermo Zuluaga (@JuanGZuluaga) May 15, 2022
A massive and heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone who submitted checklists on Global Big Day. eBird contains more than 1.2 billion observations of birds from 774,000 people, all thanks to your efforts. Your observations provide valuable insights into the lives of birds that help us to better understand and protect bird populations.
At eBird, every day can be a day for birds—a reason to step outside even for just 10 minutes to enjoy birds and share observations for science. Together we can help better understand, conserve, and enjoy birds for many years to come. Thank you for being a part of it.
TOTAL species by country
TOTAL checklists by country
INCREASE in number of checklists over 2021
TOTAL eBirders by country
NEW eBirders by country
INCREASE in number of eBirders over 2021