The Global Big Day and World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) are biannual celebrations of the birds around you.

World Migratory Bird Day was consolidated as a global effort in 2018 and is coordinated by Environment for the Americas (EFTA) for migration in the Western Hemisphere. The WMBD encourages programming by other organizations to amplify the issues migratory birds face, with this year’s conservation theme being Water.

The Global Big Day is organized by Cornell University’s eBird program, Global Birding, and BirdLife International. Each of these organizations highlights the need to support migratory birds and protect their habitats. By participating in the Global Big Day, you are also celebrating World Migratory Bird Day, as birders, scientists, and educators around the globe all work together.

Participation is easy and typically done as a group, but you can also do it solo. Birding can be done in a park, preserve, green space, city, or in your backyard. All that is needed is to

  • first, have an eBird account
  • then watch birds for 10 minutes or more on the second Saturday in May (this year it’s May 13th from midnight to midnight)
  • and finally, submit your observations on eBird.

If you need instructions about how to use eBird, go here for a short free class about the essentials of the program.

For more information about May 13’s birding programs and events, please go here and here.

Heidi Shiver, Bird Town Pennsylvania President and PA Audubon Council Secretary

World Migratory Bird Day 2023 Poster – Bird illustrations by Augusto Silva