Birding Big Day

BirdLife South Africa’s 31st Birding Big Day 

BirdlaserSaturday 28 November 2015 

South Africa is out birding! Track the BirdLasser-registered teams by clicking on the link below


Goals and objectives of Birding Big Day
  1. Collectively tally as many of South Africa’s 846 bird species in a single day, with help from birders across the country, from midnight on Friday 27 November to midnight on Saturday 28 November 2015
  2. Raise money for bird conservation
  3. Raise awareness for BirdLife South Africa, bird-watching and bird conservation
  4. Create awareness for the importance of citizen science, with the help of BirdLasser
BirdlasserCauseAbout BirdLasser

BirdLasser is fun for birders and good for birds. An easy to use app for both beginner birders and twitchers, BirdLasser enables you to record your sightings and share with bird conservation causes.

Plot your sightings with GPS precision, instantly update your lifelist and share it with friends. At the same time give conservation and research causes, like SABAP2 and BirdLife South Africa, a better picture of what’s happening to our birdlife. So, while you have fun spotting and plotting birds, you automatically play a part in helping them.

BirdLife South Africa encourages teams and individuals to record their Birding Big Day sightings with BirdLasser – your progress throughout the day will be tracked and displayed on a dedicated website. At the end of the day, you will be able to export your data in CSV format (from the website) and email to BirdLife South Africa, and also submit your data to SABAP2. For the very enthusiastic citizen scientist – please remember to record additional observational data for the Threatened Species Cause.

To download the BirdLasser app or more information about the app, please visit http://www.birdlasser.com/. The app is free and easy to install! Please email Henk Nel from BirdLasser at henk@birdlasser.com once you have downloaded the app.

How to participate?

You need to install BirdLasser on your phone (Android, iPhone or Windows). Visit www.birdlasser.com
Then email Henk Nel from BirdLasser at henk@birdlasser.com. It is vital that you inform him that you will be part of this exciting initiative.
The BirdLasser team will then add your team’s information on the BBD map. It would also be great if you can submit your sightings to SABAP2, even as incidental records. Hopefully lots of people will join the SABAP2 team after they have seen how easy it is to use the app, record the data and submit to SABAP2!

Spot. Plot. Play a Part! See the teams progress https://www.birdlasser.com/events/bbd2015

The categories

Open category

  • The maximum area that can be visited is an area within a radius of 50 km
  • Record all the bird species seen or heard during a 24-hour period from midnight on Friday 27 November to midnight on Saturday 28 November 2015.
  • Teams can consist of a maximum of four members.
  • Only free-flying birds may be recorded (no caged birds).
  • The majority of the team members have to agree on a call or sighting.
  • People can participate in the BirdLasser initiative by allowing their data and progress to be published in the BirdLasser website.

Handicap category

  • The Handicap category is based on the number of birds recorded in the 50 km radius relative to the number of birds which were recorded there during SABAP1 and/or SABAP2.
  • It is therefore important for participants to send the quarter degree squares to BirdLife South Africa by 16h00 on Friday 30 October 2015, so that the number of birds recorded in that area during SABAP1 and SABAP2 can be determined.
  • The team with the highest percentage of birds seen will be the winners (for example 50 birds seen out of a possible 100 = 50%).

Bird your ‘Hood category

  • This category gives you 24 hours to go birding in your garden, local park or school grounds; as long as it is close enough to walk, bike or hike. This category is for the budding beginner or backyard birder.
  • Teams or individuals must record all the bird species seen or heard in their garden on 28 November 2015.
  • Individuals may enter and teams can consist of a minimum of two members.
  • You may count all birds seen or heard in your garden, including those flying overhead.
  • It is recommended that teams or individuals spend a minimum of one uninterrupted hour of observation in their garden.
How to enter and participate
  • Choose your category and go birding on Saturday 28 November 2015.
  • Complete the Entry Form (available for download below)
  • Should you require a checklist, it is also available for download below
  • You can download the official BirdLife South Africa checklists in both English and Afrikaans here
  • There is no entry fee. However, raise R300 or more in sponsorship for BirdLife South Africa's important bird conservation work and you will receive a Birding Big Day cloth badge. All teams and individuals who raise R1000 or more in sponsorship will  qualify for the lucky draw.
  • BirdLife South Africa would like to encourage teams to register with BirdLasser and submit sightings through the BirdLasser app.
  • For bank deposits or electronic transfers, please use the payment reference ‘BBD’ and your team name. The banking details can be found on the entry form or see below. Please send deposit slip or proof of payment via fax 086 581 9999 or email events@birdlife.org.za
  • Send your completed entry form and checklist to BirdLife South Africa by 4 December 2015 via email events@birdlife.org.za

icon BBD Entry Form 2015 (111 kB)

 icon Checklist (23.9 kB)

For more information, please contact Nikki McCartney, Events & Marketing Manager, on 083 636 1060 or events@birdlife.org.za 



Birding Big Day 2014

Thank you to all the teams and individuals who took part in the 30th annual Birding Big Day on 29 November 2014.  Thank you for the generous donations received. Over R54 000 was raised for BirdLife South Africa during Birding Big Day 2014.

Birding Big Day 2014 results

icon BBD 2104 Open category (218.64 kB)

icon BBD 2014 Bird your Hood category (184.53 kB)

icon BBD 2014 FamilyCommunity category (190.29 kB)

For more information, please contact Nikki McCartney on 083 636 1060 or events@birdlife.org.za