Birdwatching Canada

A voice for the northern birds

Okanagan Big Day Challenge

Get ready for the 24th annual Okanagan Big Day Challenge on May 17/09. This year we\’re going human-powered, so teams will have to bike, run, walk or sit to see their birds. We will have a motorized category, but that will be for the Little Big Day only, and those teams will have to remain within one of the valley\’s Christmas Bird Count Circles. Get your teams together and come to the Okanagan for a great weekend of birding.

The 24th Annual  Okanagan Big Day Challenge

Sunday, May 17, 2009 — Victoria Day Weekend

Big Day Challenge is one of the main events of the 11th annual Meadowlark Festival. Teams of birders regularly come from all over Canada and the Pacific Northwest to participate. The Okanagan Big Day Challenge is a friendly and fun-filled competition to see which team can see and hear the most species of birds in one day-midnight to midnight on Sunday, May 18-in the Okanagan Valley. Winning teams usually tally about 160 bird species. The all time record is 174! This year we\’re making teams bike, run, walk or sit to count birds–so the winning total will likely be in the 145 species range.

You don\’t need to be an expert to join in the fun! All that you need are some willing sponsors, a pair of binoculars, a group of people who love to walk around outdoors and try to identify birds, and someone to record what you see and hear.

New fossil-fuel-free rules

Birds can only be counted while biking, walking, running or sitting. You can drive to your starting point and get picked up at the end point, but your Big Day list can only include those species seen while under your own power.

Little Big Day

For those not wanting to deal with sleep deprivation, there is the \”Little Big Day,\” which involves 8 consecutive hours of birding on Sunday (this was formerly set from 0400 to noon, but we\’ve decided to relax this rule a bit). Birders in this category are allowed to use motorized transportation, but must remain within a Christmas Bird Count circle (24 km diameter).

If you\’d like further information about the Okanagan Big Day Challenge, contact Dick Cannings at dickcannings@shaw.ca

For more information on the Meadowlark Festival (or a copy of the Festival\’s brochure):

Meadowlark Festival, P.O. Box 20133, Penticton, BC, V2A 8K3   Email: meadowlarkfestival@osca.org

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