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BirdLife South Africa Birding Day   Saturday 26 November 2011

The annual BirdLife South Africa Birding Big Day is a fun, yet competitive day for South Africa’s birdwatchers, both beginners and competitive twitchers, while at the same time raising much needed funds for the organisation’s important bird conservation and bird species monitoring work.  Scroll down to download the entry form and bird checklists.

Funds raised this year will be going to BirdLife South Africa’s Important Bird Areas (IBA) Programme.  A portion of funds will also go towards the SABAP2 project, mainly for travel subsidies to enable atlasers to reach unatlased pentads.

NEWSFLASH: Calling all backyard birders

This year, BirdLife South Africa would like to see greater participation in the Garden Bird Category, which is specially tailored for those who like to enjoy their coffee on the patio whilst watching a Cape Robin-Chat in the bird bath or resident weavers building their nests. So avid gardeners and backyard birders unite and count the birds in your garden during the week preceding and on the official day (26 November 2011).

By recording the birds that visit your garden you will be providing important information to help BirdLife South Africa monitor bird populations in your area.  Don’t be put off if the only birds in your patch are hadedas or doves – they all matter. This is not an ‘Experts Only’ survey; everyone’s input will be valuable.

BirdLife South Africa would also like to encourage all teams and individuals who enter the Garden Bird category to register with the MyBirdPatch project. Register on the MyBirdPatch website as an observer and submit your list online.

MyBirdPatch, a project of UCT’s Animal Demography Unit (ADU), in collaboration with BirdLife South Africa and the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), is an initiative to capture bird lists from small, local patches to monitor bird population changes on a fine scale. It is about birding in your own comfort zone: your garden, your neighbourhood, a local park or wetland, a golf course, etc.

Download the entry form and bird checklists from the BirdLife South Africa website http://www.birdlife.org.za/events/birding-big-day

All about Birding Big Day 2011

All the information you need to know about Birding Big Day 2011 can be found on the BirdLife South Africa website http://www.birdlife.org.za/events/birding-big-day  For any further enquiries, please contact Nikki McCartney, Acting Events Manager on 083 636 1060 or events@birdlife.org.za

Categories for Birding Big Day

Garden Bird Category

  • Record all the bird species seen or heard in your garden during a 24-hour period, preferably on the 26 November 2011.
  • Participants may also record birds in their gardens during the week preceding theoffiical day.
  • You may count all birds seen or heard in your garden, including those flying overhead.
  • Please spend a minimum of one uninterrupted hour of observation.
  • You are also able to submit your data online.  BirdLife South Africa would like to recommend that data submission be made through the MyBirdPatch project.  Register at http://mybirdpatch.adu.org.za/ as an observer and start submitting your lists. 
  • You can also submit your entry form and checklist to BirdLife South Africa. 

SABAP2 Category

  • Participants must be registered atlasers, with Animal Demography Unit (ADU) observer numbers.
  • Participants may enter the SABAP2 Category the week preceding and on the official day (26 November 2011).
  • Participants should do one, two or a maximum of three pentads during the day.
  • Participants may submit their entry form once they have submitted their data to the ADU.
  • The rules follow the Southern African Bird Atlas Project 2 protocol (http://sabap2.adu.org.za).

Traditional Birding Big Day Category

  • The maximum area that can be visited is an area within a radius of 50 km, but in the interests of your carbon footprint, consider birding in a smaller area.
  • There are four sub-categories, namely Open, Handicap, Community and Farm.
  • Teams entering the Open, Handicap and Farm sub-categories can consist of three to four people. Teams entering the Community sub-category can consist of a minimum of five members and a maximum of twenty members.
  • The Handicap sub-category is based on the number of birds recorded in the circular area relative to the number of birds which were recorded there during the Southern African Bird Atlas Project 1. It is therefore important for participants to send the quarter degree squares to BirdLife South Africa by 16h00 on Friday 4 November 2011, so that the number of birds recorded in that area during SABAP1 can be determined.
  • Participants may enter the Handicap Category the week preceding and on the official day (26 November 2011).

Rules

  • Teams may enter the Garden Bird and SABAP2 Categories the week preceding and on the official day (26 November 2011).
  • The Traditional Birding Big Day Category may only be entered on the 26 November 2011 and observations should be done over a 24 hour period (midnight to midnight).
  • Birding Big Day badges will be issued to the teams which raise R250 or more in sponsorship for BirdLife South Africa.
  • Bird species lists can be downloaded below. Alternatively, contact BirdLife South Africa on 011 789 1102 or email info@birdllife.org.za  and we will e-mail, fax or post you the bird list.
  • The top 3 winners of each category will receive certificates of recognition.
  • For the Traditional Category the majority of the team members have to agree on a call or sighting.
  • Only free-flying birds may be recorded (no caged birds).
  • Completed forms and checklists need to be submitted to BirdLife South Africa by 9 December 2011 in order to be eligible for a lucky draw prize.   See ‘where to send your entries’ on the entry form.
  • The organizer’s decision will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.

How to enter and participate

  • Download and complete the Entry Form and Bird Checklist.  These can be requested from BirdLife South Africa and can be posted or faxed to you.  Contact Kathleen on 011 789 1122 or info@birdlife.org.za
  • Choose your category, get out and go birding on Saturday 26 November 2011.
  • There is no entry fee.  However, raise R250 or more in sponsorship for BirdLife South Africa’s important bird conservation work and you will receive a Birding Big Day cloth badge.
  • All teams and individuals who raise R250 or more in sponsorship will qualify for the lucky draw.
  • For bank deposits or electronic transfers, please use the payment reference ‘BBD’ and your team name.  The banking details can be found on the entry form or see below.  Please send deposit slip or proof of payment via fax 086 581 9999 or email events@birdlife.org.za 
  • Send your completed entry form and checklist to BirdLife South Africa by 9 December 2011.  Consider GOING GREEN and email them to events@birdlife.org.za.   Alternatively fax 086 581 9999 or post to PO Box 515, Randburg, 2125 for attention Nikki McCartney.

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