Birding Big Day, Giving | Earlham College

Birding Big Day

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Birding Big Day 2016 was a great success!

Many participants spent a weekend cataloguing species for Earlham College 35th Annual Birding Big Day (ECBBD), May 6-8, 2016. Participation was higher than ever before on the “global” format. Many folks have been commenting on how much they enjoyed being in the field or reading others’ descriptions of discoveries and joys (lots of this is on the Earlham Birders Facebook page — please join).

At least 84 observers (a record) submitted 323 separate lists (another record), tallying a total of 786 species worldwide — the second highest in last five years. A record 466 species were reported from the United States (27 states plus D.C.). Ten observers (yet another record) sent in lists from as many countries, including seven new ones for the ECBBD: Panama, Ecuador, Bahamas, Israel, Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Australia.

For those of you unfamiliar with ECBBD, it is a fundraiser for the Earlham Fund, which provides funding for scholarships and other underpinnings that make Earlham available to students. Simply put, the ECBBD is a bird-a-thon! Please participate by pledging to and joining in on the big day. Participants form teams and collect pledges for the Earlham Fund based on the number of different bird species they can identify.

People can participate in many ways — by supporting the effort with a pledge or an outright gift; by following the weekend's activities on Facebook in the Earlham Birders group; and by participating as a field observer. People can also join the ECBBD mailing list by sending a request with their e-mail address to the Alumni Office.

History of Birding Big Day at Earlham

Earlham biology professors Jim Cope and Bill Buskirk created Birding Big Day in 1982. They nurtured this event and saw it blossom into an annual tradition of daylong birding in the Whitewater Valley.

After Jim passed away in March 2002, Bill opened the experience to even more birding enthusiasts in the Earlham community. Every year since then, alumni, students, faculty and staff form birding teams with the challenge of seeking as many different species they can find in a day.

This event became worldwide in 2009. In 2015, participants identified 729 species around the world.

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