Birding Big Day 2016

BirdLife South Africa's 32nd Birding Big Day will take place on Saturday 26 November 2016. The purpose of Birding Big Day is to celebrate the wondeful bird diversity we have in South Africa, to raise valuable funds for conservation and awareness for BirdLife South Africa's conservation work. In addition this year we want to showcase the exciting mobile application, BirdLasser.

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We plan to make Birding Big Day this year bigger and more exciting than ever before by:

  • Partnering with BirdLasser to show the progress of teams during the day on an interactive map.  
  • Publicising the event widely in social and printed media and on radio.
  • Establish an Operations Centre at Isdell House during the day where updates about which birds have been recorded and progress of teams will be posted to the various media outlets.

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.BirdLasser2
  • 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 limit the use of call playback to attract birds to a minimum (preferably avoiding using it at all). This is especially true when birding in a nature reserve or national park.

Bird your ‘Hood category

The rules for this category are:

  • 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.

Play along by entering your data on BirdLasser!

Teams are invited to log their sightings on the mobile app BirdLasser and share it to the dedicated BirdLasser Birding Big Day event page ( In order to do so, one member of the team must enter the data on BirdLasser while birding. The following information must be provided on BirdLife South Africa’s prescribed online form:

  • The name and email address (the address used to register on BirdLasser) of the person in the team who will log the sightings on BirdLasser
  • Team name which will appear on the BirdLasser events page
  • Names of team members

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 For the map of the 2015 Birding Big Day see


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 13 December 2016.

Lucky Draw Prizes

Teams who registered before the event and participate on the day, will stand a chance to win the lucky draw prize namely the newly published Guide to Birds of the Kruger National Park by Warwick Tarboton and Peter Ryan. BirdLife South Africa would like to thank Struik Nature for this donation! View Struik's Nature's range of birding and natural history titles here:

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Photo: Albert Froneman

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. 

 Join the event Facebook Page for the day