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Birding Big Day


Earlham's Birding Big Day is scheduled for May 8-10th 2020! Birding Big Day is a bird-a-thon and fundraiser for the Earlham Fund, which helps provide scholarships to make an Earlham education accessible to students. Each year birders find great joy in joining friends outdoors, the challenge of finding birds, and doing something important for the College.

It may seem odd to promote an event during the COVID-19 pandemic, however, birding is a great activity to practice social distancing while still enjoying the outdoors. If you're unable to go out birding on your own, you can still support the efforts with a pledge or an outright gift and follow the birding activities of friends and fellow Earlhamites on the Earlham Birders Facebook group.

Those who wish to responsibly participate as field observers can find directions below.

As always, you can catch up on the excitement on the Earlham Birders Facebook group.

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Instructions for Field Observers

Please submit your bird lists in one of three ways:

  1. STRONGLY PREFERRED: We encourage birders from all locations to enter their lists on eBird, then to share those lists to an “Earlham” communal site. Using eBird for posting your ECBBD results has two great advantages: it allows your observations to become part of the international database; and it will make compiling the overall BBD results much easier for us! Click here for a detailed beginner's guide to using eBird.
  2. If you are observing in and reporting from the U.S. and do not wish to send in your list by the eBird option, a checklist of North American birds is available. Please don’t insert species (EXCEPT in the spaces at the end of the checklist) or delete species because you didn’t encounter them. This is very important as we may cut and paste your list onto a master list and need them to align directly.
  3. If you do not wish to use either of the first two options, simply email in your list of birds and one of us will convert it to the common tally.

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 day-long 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.

In 2008, Associate Professor of Biology Wendy Tori joined the ECBBD campus team, sharing her enthusiasm for ornithology with students and alums.

This event became worldwide in 2009. To date, ECBBD has generated more than $900,000 for the Earlham Fund.

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Earlham College, an independent, residential college, aspires to provide the highest-quality undergraduate education in the liberal arts and sciences, shaped by the distinctive perspectives of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

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801 National Road West
Richmond, Indiana
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Earlham admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin, age, gender and sexual orientation to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin, age, gender and sexual orientation in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.