Birding Big Day 2016

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BirdLife South Africa's 32nd Birding Big Day will take place on Saturday 26 November 2016, and it will be bigger and more exciting than ever before:

  • BirdLife South Africa has partnered with BirdLasser to make this a fun day during which we celebrate the wonderful bird diversity we have in South Africa. 
  • The event will be publicised widely in social and printed media and on radio.
  • During Birding Big Day an Operation Centre will be manned at Isdell House where updates about which birds have been recorded and progress of teams will be posted to the various media outlets during the day as well as radio stations.

Please support this great initiative by entering a team, even if you can only bird a few hours in the day!

Below you will find all the information you need to participate. Please read the instructions carefully.


Participants can participate in one of two categories:

Open Category

The rules for the Open Category are:


  • 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 25 November to midnight on Saturday 26 November 2016.
  • 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.
  • Teams are requested to use call playback to attract birds to a minimum (or preferably not at all). This is especially true when birding in a nature reserve or national park.
  • Teams are invited to log their sightings on the mobile app BirdLasser and share it to the dedicated Birding Big Day event page ( ). In order to do so, one member of the team must enter the data on BirdLasser during the day. The following information must be provided on BirdLife South Africa’s prescribed online form:
     The name of the person in the team who will log the sightings on BirdLasser
     Email address this person used to register on BirdLasser Team name which will appear on the BirdLasser events page
     Names of members of the team

During the day the challenge page will automatically update as the teams record their sightings, thus adding to the excitement of the day. Progress will be reported in social and other media. For more information about BirdLasser visit or email 

Bird your ‘Hood category

The rules for this category is:

  • 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 26 November 2016.
  • You may record 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.

Registration for Birding Big Day

You need to register for Birding Big Day before the event by completing the online form at the bottom of this page. There is no entry fee, but a minimum donation of R300 is required to qualify for a BirdLife South Africa Birding Big Day 2016 cloth badge.


If BirdLasser was used each team needs to verify its species list on their phone and the website within 24 hours of the event. The species list as on 24:00 27 November will be considered as final. To resolve any issues please email

If you are not using BirdLasser please email your results and proof of payment to before Friday 4 December 2016.


Please use the payment reference ‘BBD’ followed by your team name and send deposit slip or proof of payment via email to

Bank account details

Account Name: BirdLife South Africa
Bank: First National Bank
Branch: Randburg
Branch code: 254005
Account number: 62067506281

More information

If anything is unclear or you need more information please contact for more information.


Online Subscription Form to be included here