Global Bird Weekend: How to Help Birds by Discovering Them

Sign up for the bird watching event of the year here

Did you notice a lot more about your local birds and the outdoors this year? You are not the only one. For the first time in my life, I saw two sparrows build a nest, incubate their eggs, and raise five huge, fluffy young birds in the hedge opposite my window. People around the world have become more aware of their natural surroundings since the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted our ordinary lives. And while we all wish this tragedy hadn’t happened, sometimes it can take a big upheaval to see what’s important in life. This growing public awareness of nature is exactly what we need on a planet more exposed than ever to the pressures of climate change and the extinction crisis.

The Global Bird Weekend was launched this year to celebrate this newfound appreciation for wildlife. This bird watching extravaganza will take place October 17-18 and will be the largest low-carbon bird watching event in history. We recommend everyone, regardless of previous knowledge or experience, to use the fresh air in your local patch and record as many birds as possible – no matter how often – in the eBird app, which you can download for free on any smartphone. We encourage you to keep your carbon footprint small by staying close to your home and of course following all local and national COVID-19 guidelines to protect yourself and others. Bird watching is a great way to get moving outside of others. However, if you have any concerns, sightings from your home or garden are just as welcome.

This year, all funds raised through the event will support BirdLife’s campaign to end the illegal wild bird trade, which has seized millions of wild birds across Asia and has threatened numerous species with extinction. We hope participants will make a donation to the campaign or set up a donation page for themselves or their team. In addition, every sighting you record on the eBird app will help keep birds better off around the world.

Additionally, everyone who signs up for Global Bird Weekend will be entered into a free raffle to win some fantastic goodies, including the new Swarovski NL Pure binoculars.

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If you would like to take part in Global Bird Weekend with friends and participate as a group, you can also register or join as a team. The teams will seek to maximize the number of species captured and the funds raised. On Sunday the 18th, the more artistic among you will be invited to share your photos, paintings and drawings of birds encountered during the event, to celebrate the beauty and wonder of these wonderful creatures.

This brand new event was launched by Tim Appleton MBE, co-founder of Birdfair, the largest wildlife event in the world. The proceeds support a different BirdLife project each year. This year, the physical event was understandably canceled and talks and lectures went online. Although Tim is no longer involved in Birdfair, he would like to expand the work he started with the festival to develop the Global Bird Weekend and raise further funds for the important work of BirdLife.

“I hope that Global Birding will not only set a number of world records at Global Bird Weekend – the largest number of species recorded and the largest number of people bird watching at a single event – but also help raise significant funds to stop the illegal bird trade, “said Tim Appleton.

The Global Bird Weekend is also special in that it is designed to be the largest bird watching event with an emphasis on fall migration. Most of the “big weekends” of bird watching occur in the spring months and are concentrated in the northern hemisphere. This time around, we’ll likely get a very different picture of which birds are present in which places – and so are you.

Do you want to get started? All the information you need can be found at

The Global Bird Weekend is an event organized by Global Birding in collaboration with BirdLife International, eBird and Swarovski Optik.


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