Year of the Bird October Action – Participate in Cornell’s Global Big Day

We’re 10 months into Year of the Bird, and we’ve learned a lot about easy ways to help out the birds. One of the most valuable ways to help birds is simply doing what we do best:  birdwatching and recording our sightings! October means fall migration, and that means it’s time for citizen scientists to log into eBird and report sightings for another of Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Global Big Days! Fall migration brings out all kinds of birds that we don’t ordinarily see in northern Arizona as they pass through on their way to warmer places. The birding right now is marvelous, and it’s also a fantastic opportunity to keep tabs on how all of our favorite species are doing. Help Cornell collect valuable data by going out (or staying in!) on Saturday, October 6 and recording your bird sightings on eBird. This is the first October Global Big Day, and they’ve set a goal for 5,000 species from 125 different countries.

-Bird anywhere from 5 minutes to 24 hours—it all counts!
-Make complete checklists for the time and place you bird—count the number of birds of each species that you see, and identify everything you can!
-Be as accurate as possible with your checklists—if you change locations during the day, start a new checklist for each location
-Record and report your birding on eBird so Cornell Lab of Ornithology gets the data

That’s it! Just observe some birds and report them on eBird—when, where, how long, and everything else is up to you! Report the birds in your yard, head out to your favorite migration spot, or just record what you see while walking to your mailbox—just report some birds!

If you would like some Pro Tips for how to make the most of this Global Big Day, or if you’re finally looking to make the jump into using eBird and want a guide to using it, or if you want more information on what this Global Big Day thing is all about, check out Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s website at


Year of the Bird Actions so far (more information at

January – Take the Year of the Bird Pledge
February – Participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count, join and use eBird
March – Grow Native Plants
April – Speak Up for the Migratory Bird Treaty Act
May – Citizen Science:  Global Big Day and Climate Watch
June – Reduce Your Plastic Use
July – Take a Child Into Nature
August – Discover Your National Parks
September – Protect Migrating Birds from Window Collisions and Lights

Written by Amy Zimmermann