Global Big Day

5/14, Saturday All Day

York County Audubon joins the Global Big Day – And so can you!

For years, YCA has held an annual Birding Challenge in mid-May. It’s been a fund-raiser for our wildlife protection efforts and a day for birders to join together and have fun.  This year, we’re changing things up a bit, by joining with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in a citizen-science project called “The Global Big Day 2016.”  The idea is simple: people all over the world will go birding on May 14, 2016, and record what they see.  Then they’ll enter that data into eBird, where it will give a global image of bird populations and locations. There’s no requirement as to when, where, or how long during that day that one looks for birds.

Eagle and Terns MJ     oystercatcher KJ

Eagle with Common Terns by Marie Jordan                     American Oystercatcher by Ken Janes

YCA is always hoping to increase awareness of the fantastic birding opportunities in York County, so we’re adding an additional focus to our Big Day.  Following suggestions by Louis Bevier and Nathan Hall, we’re going to limit our efforts to York County, and are challenging birders in Cumberland County to discover which county can log the most species that day. On last year’s first Global Big Day, York County recorded 145 species, slightly ahead of Cumberland County’s 139. One more special feature of the YCA count is the participation of the Hard Core Birders, a group of Middle School of the Kennebunks students, organized by Nathan Hall.  We especially hope that many young people will join us on our Big Day.

You are invited to join a team, or to go out on your own; to start before dawn and go all day, or simply spend an hour or two in your backyard.  Whatever suits you suits the Global Big Day.  The count day runs for 24 hours starting at 12:00 a.m. on the 14th.  Birders from all over the world will join in the effort, and you can follow the progress of the Big Day on the Cornell Lab’s Global Big Day 2016 website:   The Cornell Lab website also has great information on how to get started with eBird, how to use it in the field, and how to record your sightings. It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with it before the Big Day.

Although we encourage everyone to give eBird a try, if you are unable to submit your list for any reason, YCA members will be happy to submit it for you. However, please note where and when you were birding, so that your list can be logged correctly.  More information on this will be available on our website,, and on our Facebook page.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology began the Global Big Day in 2015, when people from over 100 countries participated, logging over 6,000 species of birds! The hope is that this year will be even bigger. Your participation is a real contribution, and birding in York County in mid-May is a pleasure not to be missed. If you’d like to join a team of birders, or for more information, contact us through our website or Facebook page, or call Monica Grabin at 985-3342. All levels of experience and all ages are welcome.

There is no donation requirement to participate, although they are always very welcome.  All donations help us fulfill our mission to educate the public and preserve our irreplaceable natural world.

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