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Global Birding

United by the love of birds

Reading time: 5 min.

On the Global Bird Weekend this October, thousands of people all over the globe will once again head outdoors to find birds and share their sightings. As one of the world’s biggest citizen science events, the happening aims to break records, but also to raise awareness and funds for conservation issues supported by BirdLife International. A weekend that will bring together bird enthusiasts worldwide showing that the love of nature unites us all independent of our national, ethnic, racial, or social background.

Join us on October 13-15, 2023, to celebrate the beauty and diversity of birdlife!

How did it all begin?

Actually, it all started with two people sitting in a kitchen, sipping tea, looking out at the lush British countryside: In early 2020, Tim Appleton, Founder of Rutland BirdFair, and his partner Penny Robinson were tossing around ideas on how to encourage more people to love wildlife. With lockdowns restricting people’s movement radius, urbanites started to explore their local surrounding. Backyards and parks suddenly attracted more and more visitors and luckily, birds are pretty much always around you. They are in most cases the first touchpoint with wildlife. Once fascinated by birdlife, many want to discover more.

Newcomers welcome!

And it was exactly this kind of new audience that Penny and Tim wanted to further engage in wildlife observation. As with a better understanding and deeper appreciation of the natural world, conservation issues are no longer “somebody else’s problem”, but become a concern for everyone. The Global Birding initiative has been very successful in attracting newcomers.

Joining forces

One of the reasons is that they built on a strong existing network of birders and ornithological organizations. With the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s eBird app, they found the perfect platform to bring together the efforts of birders around the globe. Plus, the Global Bird Weekend builds on the momentum the Cornell Lab and many others have created with the Global Big Day in May and the October Big Day. Both citizen science events have been growing tremendously during the last years.

Why everyone can become a great birder - CCT, CTH, ATX65, CL ID: 1210382


Breaking records in 2021

So, it did not come as a surprise that the Global Bird Weekend, which took place on October 9-10, 2021, was a full success. October Big Day was joined by nearly 33,000 birders from 195 countries who submitted more than 78,024 checklists and recorded over 7,269 bird species.

Coming up: Global Bird Weekend on October 13, 14, and 15, 2023

So, what can we expect from this year’s Global Bird Weekend in October 2023? The main bird counting event will take place on Saturday, October 14. The goal is to record as many species as possible around the globe.

However, activities will start on Friday, October 13, where we want young people to go out and engage with their local wildlife. The aim is to get the birders of the future closer to the birdlife in their immediate surroundings. Thanks to Penny’s tireless efforts to get new people involved into birding, she has been very successful in identifying those groups and countries that rarely participated in bird counts.

Sunday, October 15, will be a sharing day for families , friends and newcomers with special activities in the field, to simply enjoy, sketch, photograph,  creative writing and perhaps write poems about the birds we love. Take your dear ones outside, invite friends, and show them around your local park. Enjoy, observe, get closer to wildlife.

group - birding - bird guide - forest - pointing - looking left - Leander Khil - Martina Liener - Eider - K19 dG andreschoenherr DSC1186 CMYK(ID1362720)
2 women - feather - sitting - forest - meadow - K19 dG andreschoenherr DSC8815 CMYK (ID1362742)
Clay Taylor
At the end of the day, birds do not recognize borders, as these are merely human constructs. Let’s be inspired by our winged friends and overcome differences by focusing on our common interest. In this way, bird counting events like the Global Bird Weekend really bring together communities of nature lovers.
Global Bird Weekend official Logo


Global Birding

Global Birding is a venture formed by Tim Appleton MBE and his partner Penny Robinson that aims to inspire birdwatchers to come together as a global community and celebrate birds, by participating in birding, birdwatching events, citizen science and conservation.

Tim Appleton


Tim Appleton MBE

Tim Appleton is the co-founder of the first and biggest Birdfair in Rutland Water which he ran for 31 years. He reintroduced Ospreys as a breeding bird to England in 1996. Tim has been awarded an MBE as well as the Cadbury medal, both for services to conservation. With a lifelong career in conservation and management, his ethos is to bring people together, inspire them and help global conservation.

He received his first spotting scope as a gift from Gerhard Swarovski decades ago: the AT 80. Today, he gets closer to wildlife with his NL Pure 10x42 binoculars and the ATX 65 spotting scope on a CTH compact tripod head.

Penny Robinson


Penny Robinson

Penny has had a lifelong interest in all forms of wildlife, travelling to record and write about her experiences. Her role in Global Birding is vital and has ensured its success by her personal approach to hundreds of contacts, using her skills on all platforms of social media. Her dedication to detail has inspired folks to take part and help raise funds for conservation, but above all, helping to build our
Global community.

Stay tuned at #gobirding

Bird races like these are amazing opportunities to come together as a birding community and support a common cause. We are looking forward to the next citizen science events, such as the Christmas Bird Count, the Big Garden Birdwatch and “Die Stunde der Wintervögel” in January. However, identifying and counting birds is important no matter which day of the year it is or where you are.

So, what are you waiting for? #gobirding! Grab your binoculars or dG, head out to discover wildlife, and start sharing your observations today.

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Black-throated gray warbler ID 1399426Citizen science collects valuable data on birdlife The bigger picture: One bird at a time Reading time: 3 min.