Global Big Day—4 May 2019

By Kent McFarland April 26, 2019

Global Big Day artwork by Luke Seitz

Last May, more than 30,000 people took to fields and forests around the world, recording more than 7,000 species in a single day—Global Big Day. We put up big numbers in Vermont too with over 100 bird watchers reporting 173 species and over 550 complete checklists. On Saturday, May 4th, birding’s biggest day is back. Wherever you are, you can be a part of eBird’s next Global Big Day record.

We hope you’ll join thousands of other bird watchers across the globe and here in Vermont. You don’t have to commit to birding for 24 hours—an hour or even 10 minutes of watching birds makes you part of the team. Visit your favorite spot or search out someplace new; enjoy a solo walk or get some friends to join in the Global Big Day fun.

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 Global 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.
  • Watch birds on 4 May: It’s that simple. You don’t need to be a bird expert, or go out all day long. Even 10 minutes in your backyard will help. Global Big Day runs from midnight to midnight in your local time zone. You can report birds from anywhere in the world.
  • Enter what you see and hear on Vermont eBird: You can enter your sightings via our website or—even easier—download the free eBird Mobile app. You can enter and submit lists while you’re still out birding, and the app will even keep track of how far you’ve walked, so you can focus on watching birds. Please enter sightings before 8 May to be included in our initial results announcement.
  • Watch the sightings roll in: During the day, keep an eye on how the lists are growing in Vermont, or around the globe. Follow along with sightings from more than 150 countries.

Contributing sightings is easy with the free eBird Mobile app. Download for iOS or Android.

Global Big Day Pro Tips

  • If you’re looking for a new place to find birds, explore eBird Hotspots near you.
  • Use Merlin Bird ID for help with tricky species.
  • Get together with friends and set a goal for your birding—most unusual species? biggest flock? all the species in your favorite family? The possibilities are endless.
  • Take photos and add them to your checklist—they might end up on the Global Big Day page!
  • Make your sightings more valuable: submit complete checklistskeep counts of the birds that you see, and keep multiple checklists throughout the course of your birding—if you get in the car, end that checklist and start a new one when you get to the next location.
  • Share what you’re seeing on social media with #globalbigday!

Last year’s Global Big Day set a new record, with 7,025 species reported in one day. In 2016 we found 181 species in Vermont on the Global Big Day. Let’s set a new state record in 2019! On 4 May, we hope you’ll be a part of our record breaking day. And no matter what you do, have fun, enjoy the birds you find, and share your sightings on Vermont eBird. Because in our world, every bird counts.