Global Big Day 2024: A Resounding Success

Global Big Day 2024 was an extraordinary triumph, highlighting the passion and commitment of birdwatching enthusiasts worldwide. On May 11, 2024, an astounding 1.3 million birders from across the globe took part in this 24-hour birding event, organized by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Marking the tenth annual Global Big Day, this year’s event achieved new milestones in participatory science.

Record-Breaking Participation

Birders from over 203 countries submitted more than 156,000 checklists, leading to the observation of over 7,725 bird species. Colombia topped the species count with an impressive 1,526 species recorded. It is followed closely by Peru with 1,428 species, and Brazil with 1,201 species. The global participation set a new record for the number of countries involved in a single day of birding.

Global Big Day 2024

Milestone Achievement on eBird

A major highlight of this year’s Global Big Day was reaching a significant milestone. Over 1 million people have now contributed their bird observations on eBird. This remarkable achievement underscores eBird’s impact on birding and highlights the importance of our collective contributions to scientific research.

Community and Collaboration

These incredible accomplishments are largely due to the efforts of local and regional conservation groups, including the eBird regional collaborator network and the Global Birding team. We are grateful to work with these inspiring groups. It’s fantastic news that Carl Zeiss Sports Optics continues to sponsor the eBirder of the Month program. They provide participants with the opportunity to win Zeiss SFL binoculars during Global Big Day.

Global Big Day 2024: By the Numbers

  • 1.2 million people identified birds using Merlin Bird ID. It is the highest number ever for a single day, doubling last year’s participation through Merlin!
  • 156,000 eBird checklists submitted
  • 63,220 eBirders from 203 countries—more countries participating than ever before
  • 7,725 species reported
  • 82,550 photos shared with the Macaulay Library
  • 4,820 audio recordings shared with the Macaulay Library
Global Big Day 2024
Global Big Day 2024

For more information about the results, you can visit

Engagement and Community Events

Additionally, Global Big Day 2024 fostered deeper engagement through various initiatives and community events. Numerous local birdwatching groups organized guided walks, birding competitions, and educational workshops, encouraging both novice and seasoned birders to participate. These events not only helped increase the number of checklists submitted but also fostered a sense of community and shared purpose among birders worldwide.

Contributing to Conservation

The data collected during Global Big Day is invaluable for bird conservation efforts. By analyzing the information provided by birders, scientists can monitor bird populations, track migrations, and identify species at risk. This year’s record-breaking participation will contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of global bird populations and their conservation needs.

Social Media Impact

Global Big Day also saw a significant rise in social media engagement, with birders sharing their experiences and sightings using the hashtag #GlobalBigDay. This digital interaction helped spread awareness about bird conservation and inspired many to take part in the event. It is further expanding the reach and impact of Global Big Day.

The Power of Citizen Science

The success of Global Big Day 2024 is a testament to the power of citizen science and the global birding community’s dedication to conservation. For more information and detailed results, visit the official Global Big Day page. Let’s continue to build on this momentum and work together to protect and celebrate our planet’s incredible bird diversity.

Global Big Day: An Overview

The Concept

Global Big Day is an annual event organized by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology that brings together bird enthusiasts from around the world for a 24-hour birdwatching marathon. The idea is simple. Birders of all skill levels, from casual observers to seasoned experts, go out and observe as many bird species as possible within a single day. Participants then submit their sightings to the eBird platform, contributing valuable data to global bird conservation efforts.

Starting Date and Evolution

The first Global Big Day was held on May 9, 2015. Since its inception, the event has grown exponentially, with increasing participation from birders around the world each year. This growth reflects the expanding global interest in birdwatching and the recognition of the importance of citizen science in contributing to ecological research.

Importance of Global Big Day

  1. Data Collection for Conservation: One of the primary objectives of Global Big Day is to gather extensive data on bird populations and distributions. By compiling observations from around the world, scientists can monitor bird species’ health, track migration patterns, and identify areas where birds may be at risk. This data is crucial for informing conservation strategies and policies.
  2. Promoting Citizen Science: Global Big Day highlights the power of citizen science. By involving birders of all levels in data collection, the event democratizes scientific research and allows people to contribute meaningfully to important ecological studies.
  3. Raising Awareness: The event serves as a platform to raise awareness about bird conservation issues. As participants share their sightings and experiences, they help to spread knowledge about the challenges birds face and the actions needed to protect them.
  4. Fostering a Global Community: Global Big Day connects bird enthusiasts from diverse backgrounds and regions. It fosters a sense of global community. This shared experience helps to build a network of individuals who are passionate about birds and committed to their conservation.
  5. Educational Opportunities: For many participants, especially newcomers to birdwatching, Global Big Day provides an opportunity to learn more about birds and their habitats. The event encourages people to explore nature, improve their bird identification skills, and understand the importance of biodiversity.

World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) and Global Big Day: Understanding the Differences

World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD)

Concept and Purpose

World Migratory Bird Day is an annual awareness-raising campaign that highlights the need for the conservation of migratory birds and their habitats. It focuses on the challenges migratory birds face, such as habitat loss, climate change, and illegal hunting. It promotes actions to protect birds along their migration routes.

WMBD Global Poster

Starting Date and Observance

World Migratory Bird Day was initiated in 2006 by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS). It is celebrated twice a year, on the second Saturday in May and the second Saturday in October. It coincides with the peak of bird migration in different regions of the world.


  1. Raising Awareness: WMBD aims to raise global awareness about the conservation needs of migratory birds and the ecological importance of their migration routes.
  2. Educational Campaigns: The day features educational activities, workshops, and events that engage the public in learning about migratory birds and the threats they face.
  3. International Collaboration: WMBD promotes international cooperation to protect migratory birds and their habitats, emphasizing the need for coordinated conservation efforts across countries.

Key Differences

  1. Primary Focus: WMBD focuses on raising awareness and promoting the conservation of migratory birds specifically, while Global Big Day emphasizes birdwatching and data collection for all bird species.
  2. Organizers: WMBD is organized by UNEP and CMS, whereas Global Big Day is organized by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
  3. Activities: WMBD involves educational campaigns and awareness-raising activities, while Global Big Day focuses on birdwatching and data submission to eBird.


Bird conservation events like Global Big Day and World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) play crucial roles in raising awareness, engaging the public, and contributing valuable data to scientific research. Global Big Day, organized by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, is a birdwatching marathon held annually in May. It brings together birders worldwide to observe and record as many species as possible within 24 hours, promoting citizen science and fostering a global birding community. The impressive participation and achievements of Global Big Day 2024, with over 1.3 million birders and more than 156,000 checklists submitted, highlight its significant impact on bird conservation efforts.

World Migratory Bird Day, celebrated twice a year in May and October, focuses on raising awareness about the conservation needs of migratory birds. Organized by UNEP and CMS, WMBD emphasizes the challenges migratory birds face and promotes international cooperation to protect them. Both Global Big Day and WMBD highlight the power of collective action and the importance of protecting bird species and their habitats.

Additionally, other bird-related events such as Bird-A-Thon events, local bird festivals, and Endangered Species Day further contribute to the global effort to conserve avian biodiversity. These events, through their educational campaigns, data collection, and community engagement, underscore the vital role of citizen science and international collaboration in ensuring the survival of bird species worldwide.

Together, these observances and activities create a comprehensive approach to bird conservation. The day fosters a deeper understanding and appreciation of birds and their ecological significance. By participating in these events, individuals contribute to a broader movement. They are dedicated to protecting and celebrating the planet’s incredible bird diversity.

If you loved Global Big Day, don’t forget to save the date for another chance to celebrate birds on October Big Day—October 12, 2024.

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