Sanford M. Sorkin

Join the "Big Sit" in October

Join the "Big Sit" in October

Sep 21, 2018|Birding| by Holbrook Travel

Birders, save the date: October 13-14, is the annual Big Sit! birding event. This international event is hosted by Bird Watcher’s Digest and it was founded by the New Haven (Connecticut) Bird Club. The event, which is non-competitive and purely for fun, is free and open to any person in any country.

To participate in the Big Sit!, gather a team, find a good spot for bird watching, create an imaginary circle 17 feet in diameter and then sit inside the circle for 24 hours (from midnight to midnight), while counting all the bird species you see or hear. There is no limit to how many people can occupy each circle, other than spatial limitations. Participants may come and go from the circle, as needed, and the circle does not have to be occupied for the entire 24 hours.  The difference between teams lies in the limitation of the 17-foot circular area from which you choose to bird. The key is to find a good spot with a variety of habitats and a lot of birds.

Every team that observes this year’s “Golden Bird” has a chance to win $500 from the event's sponsor, Swarovski Optik, which can be donated to a conservation cause or project of the team's choice. After all of the Big Sit! results are collected, a bird species is chosen at random in December to become the "Golden Bird." Any group that has seen the "Golden Bird" is entered in a drawing. According to Birdwatcher's Digest, the two other categories in which teams can win bragging rights are "Best Overall Count" and "Best State Count."

Big Sit! participants may also use the event as a fundraiser for their birding clubs. Pledge forms are available for teams to collect pledges for each species that they tally. In 2005, a team from Mesa, Ariz., The Asterisks, collected more than $1,000 in pledges to support the Maricopa Audubon Society.

People participate in this event from all over the world, including Big Sit! circles in India, Guatemala, England, Vietnam, the Netherlands and New Zealand.

To register your circle and to learn more about this event, please visit http://www.birdwatchersdigest.com/bwdsite/connect/bigsit/about-the-big-sit.php.