Birdwatchers unite for 24-hour bird binge on Global Big Day 2018 | News | DW | 05.05.2018
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Birdwatchers unite for 24-hour bird binge on Global Big Day 2018

Great tits, Himalayan snowcocks, rough-faced shags, brown tremblers. Those are just some of the species thousands of birdwatchers may catch sight of for this year's biggest birding event.

"How many birds can be seen in one day?" That's the question thousands of birdwatchers around the world are asking as they mark Global Big Day, the most important birdwatching event of the year.

The popular online database for birdwatchers, eBird, started the first Global Big Day in 2015 to challenge birdwatchers to join together to document as many bird species as possible within a 24-hour period.

Read more: King of the skies: The return of the eagle

The birding bonanza

According to eBird's live statistics:

  • More than 21,500 participants identified more than 6,290 bird species around the world and entered their findings into the eBird database.
  • Colombia leads the table for the country with the most species sightings at 1,150. Peru, 1,119, and Brazil, 930, were in second and third place.
  • North America is the continent with the most participants at just over 17,300. In Asia, 932 people have taken part, while in Europe, the number was 1,023.

Read more: New technology helps citizens track migrating storks

Watch video 03:36

Westerhever - Wadden Sea Birdwatching

Colombian president chirps in

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos wrote on Twitter: "With more than 1,900 species of birds we are now one of the preferred tourist destinations. This year we celebrate #GlobalBigDayColombia."

The UK ambassador to Madagascar, Phil Boyle, wrote on Twitter: "Just submitted my first #GlobalBigDay list for birds at the British Embassy Residence in #Madagascar. Egrets, fodies and a kestrel."

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) wrote on Twitter: "USGS biologists are doing their part for the #GlobalBigDay of #birding by studying waterfowl in CA wetlands."

Global Big Day 2017: Last year, enthusiasts identified more than 6,600 bird species, according to eBird. The website said they hope to beat that number in 2018 with over 20,000 bird watchers from more than 160 countries expected to take part.

Conservation efforts: eBird and its affiliate, Cornell University's Lab of Ornithology, hope to use information gleaned from the sightings to help conserve global bird populations. "The analysis of that data provides the scientific basis for well-reasoned, informed decisions on conservation policy," said Peter Hart, a member of the Lab's administrative board in a video promoting the event.

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