On 8 October, people in 185 countries around the world joined together to celebrate birds for October Big Day. More than 34,670 contributors reported an incredible 7,453 species on 80,000 checklists, setting THREE new records for the single biggest day in October birding history!
An extra warm welcome to the 2,800 contributors around the world who eBirded for the first time on October Big Day. This year’s global team featured an astounding 2,000 more participants than last year, including 600 participants in Africa, 2,160 in Asia, 2,960 in Europe, and 5,460 in Central and South America.
October Big Day wouldn’t be a global phenomenon without YOU, the global birding community. We’re grateful to work with so many amazing partner groups around the world, including the eBird portal collaborator network, who inspire and motivate birders on October Big Day and every day. Huge thanks also to Carl Zeiss Sports Optics for their sponsorship of eBirder of the Month challenge, including an opportunity to win new Zeiss SFL binoculars by participating in October Big Day.
This year’s October Big Day was also an opportunity to celebrate World Migratory Bird Day and Global Bird Weekend. Tremendous thanks to Global Birding’s Tim Appleton and Penny Robinson, Birdlife International, and Swarovski Optik for making Global Bird Weekend possible, and to the World Migratory Bird Day team for their efforts.
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October Big Day by the numbers
- 34,670 people went birding
- 80,035 checklists submitted
- 7,453 species reported (184 more species than last year)
- 45,356 photos submitted to the Macaulay Library
- 1,563 recordings submitted to the Macaulay Library
- 184,900 Merlin users saved nearly 28,300 bird identifications
Explore more October Big Day results and mark your calendars for the next Global Big Day—13 May, 2023.
Below we’ve highlighted some fun themes and stories shared by you, the global birding team.
Sharing discoveries with eBird Trip Reports
For the first time ever, the Critically Endangered Horned Curassow was observed during an eBird Big Day. This is just the 19th ever eBird report of this rare and elusive bird, which is endemic to just a small number of forested hillsides in Bolivia. Asociación Armonia Program Director Tjalle Boorsma and Assistant Coordinator Teodoro Camacho Reyes set out on October Big Day with the goal of putting Horned Curassow “on the map”—raising awareness for this critically imperiled species.
“Seeing Bolivia’s most elusive bird made me a very happy man!” Tjalle posted on Instagram. “With only minor scratches and a few tick bites we found the endemic Horned Curassow (Pauxi unicornis) deep in the jungle of the Isiboro Sécure National Park and Indigenous Territory (TIPNIS). Sadly this species is Critically Endangered due to severe habitat loss,” Tjalle writes. “Many thanks to Antonio Ortega (Yurucare community member), Leoncio Viri (TIPNIS park guard) and Teodoro Camacho who made this trip an unforgettable and fun experience.”
Check out the eBird Trip report of their successful scouting efforts. Congratulations on this tremendous achievement, Tjalle, Teodoro, and team! Learn more about the Horned Curassow at Birds of the World Online; one of 10 free preview accounts that will remain open through the end of the month.
Below are a few more examples of the more than 500 eBird Trip Reports created for October Big Day. It’s not too late to create and share your own report! Visit https://ebird.org/mytripreports to get started.
Team “Champions of the Flyway”—representing BirdLife Israel and Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel—tallied 150 species, including impressive concentrations of birds and even a large Jungle Cat (Felis chaus). Read Yoav Perlman’s exciting account of the day.
Rofikul Islam found 122 species, one ‘photo lifer’ and two ‘audio lifers’ (species Rofikul had never photographed or recorded before) on their October Big Day around Assam, India.
Despite a busy schedule, Jeff Percell still managed to contribute 5 complete checklists. Every checklist counts! Jeff writes, “My highlight was finding a rare Red-bellied Woodpecker in Boulder County, Colorado…. Also seeing my first Ruby Crowned Kinglet of the year, as well as watching a Great Blue Heron catch a fish at dusk.”
The Faces of October Big Day
Rain or shine, birds bring smiles to our faces. Finding joy in birds, together, is what October Big Day is all about. Daniel Mesa writes on Twitter “One of the most beautiful things about birding is to see the emotion of people who are just starting in the addiction of bird watching”. We couldn’t agree more. Here are just a few of the faces of October Big Day contributors around the world:
Today was #BirdMigratoryDay.
We got invited by @Nature_Kenya to have a bird count activity in John Michuki Memorial Park.
I learnt that birds can be identified by their flight patterns and physical appearance. #birding #birdiers #naturekenya pic.twitter.com/tytUnwlTsw
— Ken Luther (@LutherOnyango) October 8, 2022
El #octoberbigday es un día de fiesta donde nos encontramos con amigos, compartimos el disfrute por la #naturaleza y aprendemos en comunidad. #Lima#OctoberBigDay #diamundialdelasavesmigratorias #worldmigratorybirdday #nochesoscurasmigracionesseguras #proyectoavesurbanasdelima pic.twitter.com/S5cDJ4FxPG
— Aves Urbanas de Lima (@AvesUrbanasLima) October 8, 2022
Many birders can relate to this Carlos Mario Wagner’s expression of elation, even after 20 hours of non-stop birding across France and Spain.
Colombia eBirder Martha Patricia Cabrales shares a “typical conversation”—one that may seem familiar to other October Big Day birders as well:
– “Waking up early to go birding on a rest day is crazy. Does that make you happy?”
– “Well…” (big smile)
-Madrugar a pajarear un día de descanso es de locos. Eso te hace feliz?
-Pues… (Ahí la evidencia de la sonrisota)#OctoberBigDay #spamdepajaritoscantandoconhonorenOBD #cadaavecuenta #lasavesnosunen #GBDColombia @GBDColombia @team_ebird pic.twitter.com/34ly0nivPw
— Martha Patricia Cabrales (@patkensuno) October 9, 2022
We especially love seeing young birders who discover birding, many for the first time, on October Big Day—such as this pair of fledgling scientists from New Jersey, United States:
— Erin (@scienceonseven) October 8, 2022
Following Birdist Rule #7, Vivek Menon took a group of young birders on an exciting trip to Sultanpur National Park, India, where they encountered a rare Blue-throated Flycatcher. Meanwhile, in Bulgaria, Strahil Peev led local kids on a walk along the Danube River.
Happy to take out @wti_org_india youngsters birding on #BigBirdDay to Sultanpur NP. And see the rare Blue-throated Blue Flycatcher as a bonus thx @Bhrigzz & @incognito9. 75 species in the rain. How many did you score #IndiAves ? @Noelmenon @DavidSukanya @why_so_Wajiha pic.twitter.com/HjE9GCSesq
— Vivek Menon (@vivek4wild) October 8, 2022
“Birdist Rule #7: Take a Kid Birding” Today I shared the experience of #GlobalBigDay with kids from Ruse and managed to ID 19 species of birds along Danube River!@Team_eBird pic.twitter.com/wSK5IZDsfQ
— Strahil Peev (@PeevStr) October 8, 2022
Fundación ProAves in Colombia not only helped local children discover birds, they also shared bird-themed arts, crafts, and games to inspire the next generation towards bird conservation.
Huge thanks to everyone who uses October Big Day as an opportunity to introduce young birders to a life-long passion for nature and the outdoors.
The Places of October Big Day
What did it look like where you went birding on October Big Day? October Big Day coincides with World Migratory Bird Day, an opportunity to celebrate how birds connect people and places through their annual journeys. Hundreds of millions of migratory birds were on the wing during October Big Day, giving us a chance to recognize the many habitats that provide them with critical shelter and resources.
Beaches, coasts, and shores provide a crucial place for migrating shorebirds to rest and refuel. These habitats often host a few charismatic mammals as well!
— Ryan Irvine (@RyanIrv66544163) October 8, 2022
Broads National Park, a combination of freshwater marsh and reedbeds, is home to a quarter of the United Kingdom’s rarest wildlife and many bird species not found elsewhere in the country.
— Su Gough (@SuGough) October 9, 2022
In urban habitats, natural areas or green spaces support birds and provide people with an essential connection to nature. They also give birders a way to contribute to October Big Day that’s close to home. On October Big Day, thousands of eBirders took to the streets to share the birds that share their neighborhoods.
A dash around Marton village/Trent Port @PatchBirding this AM produced 40spp for #OctoberBigDay incl House Martin, 4 Chiffchaff, 2 Bullfinch, Green and GS Woodpeckers, Coal Tit, 12 Skylark, 10 Moorhen @Team_eBird@LincsNaturalist @Lincsbirding @global_birding pic.twitter.com/hbx5MZxyyL
— Brian Hedley (@ManfromMarton) October 8, 2022
First stop of the day #OctoberBigDay in Manzanares River, Madrid. Fantastic #birding spot in the heart of the city. #eBird #Birdtober2022 #WorldMigratoryBirdDay #AllAboutBirds pic.twitter.com/gyYR7yz1Sy
— Santiago Delgado (@SantiBiologist) October 8, 2022
Of course, as young Nottinghamshire birder Alfie Seastron shows, even your own garden or backyard can be an excellent place to enjoy birds—and even catch some “vis mig”, or visible migration—on October Big Day!
— AlfieBirder (@AlfieBirder) October 8, 2022
The Voices of October Big Day
1,546 audio recordings from 8 October were uploaded to the Macaulay Library. Listen to a selection of the sounds of October Big Day below, or explore the full collection here. We appreciate everyone who recorded and uploaded bird sounds to their October Big Day checklists. These audio recordings power exciting scientific discoveries and even help Merlin Bird ID to expand Merlin Sound ID to new regions—so keep those sound recordings coming!
Every year, we are blown away by volunteer efforts to rally communities around the world in support of birds. This video from Jardín Botánico Bogota summarizes the magical combination of people, places, and birds that is October Big Day. Thanks again to the tremendous network of eBird collaborators for making October Big Day possible, we can’t appreciate you enough.
A massive and heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone who submitted checklists on October Big Day. eBird now contains more than 1.3 billion observations of birds from more than 800,000 eBirders, 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 big day, 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.
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