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Represent Virginia Birds in the October Global Big Day

Red-breasted Nuthatch photo by Ellen & Tony.

Help set a new birding record this Saturday!  On the heels of this year’s record-breaking Global Big Day on May 5th, Cornell Lab of Ornithology is organizing its first ever October version of the event, and participants are needed!  Set for this Saturday, October 6th, Global Big Day is a 24-hour event seeking to document as many bird species as possible across the world.  Why October? Because the southern hemisphere is in the throes of its spring season, while migration is in full swing at more northerly latitudes.  For Virginia, this means lots of fall birds passing through on their way south, and the return of many species that breed to the north but winter in the Commonwealth.

Golden-crowned Kinglet on a branch

Golden-crowned Kinglet photo by Dave Inman.

Participation is easy – on October 6, get outdoors and do some birdwatching. Identify and count the birds you see around your home, your neighborhood, or at your local Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail site, then enter your bird observations into eBird.  By counting and documenting the bird species you see here in Virginia, you will ensure Virginia birds are well represented in the count, plus you’ll be joining bird enthusiasts around the world in a quest to break a new Global Big Day record. This past May’s Global Big Day set a record of 6,899 species of birds seen in one day, with participation by 28,000 observers.  Among states, Virginia was ranked in the top 10 for species documented and in the top 20 for number of checklists submitted!

Help Virginia rise further in the ranks – view eBird’s Global Big Day October announcement for more information on participating.

Participating in this event is one simple thing you can do to help birds during the 2018 Year of the Bird, a celebration of birds and a call-to-action for people to help birds in simple yet meaningful ways.  The checklists you submit into eBird on October 6 will provide data that scientists can use to better understand bird populations and their movements across time and space.

Add to the fun of your Global Big Day by bird watching with a friend, your spouse, your children, or grandkids. You may even want to check your local bird club to see if they are having a special field trip for the event. Find your local club at: or

Black-throated Blue Warbler on a pine tree bough

Black-throated Blue Warbler photo by Billtacular.

If you enjoy observing birds during the Global Big Day and don’t want the fun to end, consider participating in the Virginia Breeding Bird Atlas(VABBA2), a citizen-science project of DWR, the Virginia Society of Ornithology and the Conservation Management Institute at Virginia Tech. Data collected from this project is helping to map the distribution and status of Virginia’s breeding birds. Find everything you need to get started at

  • October 5, 2018