BirdLife South Africa’s 40th Birding Big Day (BBD) will take place on Saturday 7 December 2024. Below is the information one needs to participate.

Afrit is the 2024 corporate sponsor for Birding Big Day. They are also funding the revision of the Red Data Book for Birds, currently undertaken by BirdLife South Africa. For more information about Afrit please see their website.


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.

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 6km radius area.
  • Complete the registration form – link below.
  • On BBD, record all the bird species seen or heard during a 24-hour period from midnight on Friday 6 December to midnight on Saturday 7 December 2024. 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 50km.
  • 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 6km radius category).

6Km Radius Category
The rules for this category are:

  • The maximum area that can be visited is an area within a radius of 6km.
  • Note this is a RADIUS of 6km – from boundary to boundary the distance is 12km.
  • Teams registering in this category will not be automatically entered into provincial challenges. Please email if you want your team to be entered into a provincial challenge. Indicate clearly which provincial challenge. 

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 please consider making a donation.

If you want to receive a BBD cloth badge, please visit the BirdLife South Africa online shop.


Donations can be paid into the account below. 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