BirdLife South Africa’s 37th Birding Big Day (BBD) will take place on Saturday 27 November 2021. Below is the information one needs to participate (please read the instructions carefully).

Play along by entering your data on BirdLasser!

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

  • The name and email address of the person in the team who will log the sightings on BirdLasser. Please make sure you enter the correct email address, you can find it under the settings menu on the BirdLasser App.
  • Team name which will appear on the BirdLasser events page (maximum 25 characters).
  • Names of team members.

During the day, the challenge page will automatically update as 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

All participants will be loaded in each of the nine provincial BirdLasser events and scores will be kept as to how many species each team record in a province. Please note this will only be available for teams using BirdLasser and only for teams entering the 50km radius challenge.

The links are:
Free State:
Northern Cape:
Western Cape:

Link for 5km Radius Challenge

Link tp 50km Radius Challenge


If BirdLasser was used, each team needs to verify its species list on their phone and the website within 48 hours of the event. The species list at 24:00 29 November will be considered as final. To resolve any issues, please email
If you are not using BirdLasser, please email your results to before  5 December 2021 using this checklist.

How to participate

To participate in Birding Big Day is easy, just follow these steps!

  • Select a Birding Big Team, you can have as many members as you like. However, only teams with 2-4 members will be considered for national and provincial records.
  • Give your team a name – please limit the length of the name to 25 characters.
  • Select the category your team will participate in, either the 50km or 5km radius area.
  • Complete the registration form here.
  • On BBD, record all the bird species seen or heard during a 24-hour period from midnight on Friday 26 November to midnight on Saturday 27 November 2021. You can bird all 24 hours or just a few hours, up to you!
  • You can record your list on paper, but we prefer that you use the BirdLasser mobile app. See how to, elsewhere on this page.
  • Only free-flying birds may be recorded (i.e. no caged birds).
  • The majority (for example 2 out of three or 3 out of four) of the team members have to agree on a call or sighting.
  • Teams are requested to limit the use of callback to attract birds to an absolute minimum (preferably avoiding using callback at all). This is especially true when birding in a nature reserve or national park or targeting threatened bird species.
  • Most importantly have fun and enjoy the day out in the field!


You can participate in one of two categories:

50Km Radius Category
The rules for this category are:

  • The maximum area that can be visited is an area within a radius of 50 km.
  • Please note this a RADIUS of 50km – so from boundary to boundary it is 100km.
  • Teams registering for this category will automatically be entered into provincial challenges (this will not be the case for the 5km radius category).

5Km Radius Category
The rules for this category are:

  • The maximum area that can be visited is an area within a radius of 5 km.
  • Note this is a RADIUS of 5km – from boundary to boundary the distance is 10km.
  • Teams registering in this category will not be entered into provincial challenges and will not be considered for national or provincial records.

Registration for Birding Big Day

You need to register for Birding Big Day before the event by completing the online form. There is no entry fee, but a minimum donation of R300 is required to qualify for a BirdLife South Africa Birding Big Day 2021 cloth badge. Please note that only four cloth badges will be produced per team of four members. For teams with more than four members an additional R45 will need to be paid per team member.


Please use the payment reference ‘BBD’ followed by your team name and send deposit slip or proof of payment via email to This is important to ensure you are put on the list to receive your badges; incorrectly referenced payments might not be allocated to your team.

Latest date for payments for BBD badges is 31 December 2021.

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