Come Birding in 2017 with BPQ

What is this about? – we want to encourage birders throughout Canada to celebrate the centenary of BPQ with us during 2017 and to provide a national platform for the promotion of birding and conservation.

As a conservation charity, we are emphasizing Green Birding in the challenges



Challenge categories:

There will be four contest categories. In each category recognition will be given for the highest number of species recorded for each separate province/territory and also for Canada as a whole.

Birders can enter as many times during the period as they wish. The contest can be attempted any time during the three months of April to June

  • Green Big Day (completed entirely using self-powered means of transport)
  • “Fairly” Green Big Day (you may use a car to get to and from the starting point only. Once you start counting birds you must use self-powered means of transport)
  • Big Sit (birds seen or heard from within a 17 foot diameter fixed circle)
  • A Green Big Year (completed entirely using self-powered means of transport))
      • Note: Big Days and Big Sits can be attempted in either the spring migration months (May-June) or the fall period (September – October)


Who can enter?

Anyone can accept the challenge provided they are resident in Canada.

You must attempt the challenge as part of a team of 2-4 birders unless you are attempting the Big Year when you may opt to do it alone.

All teams/individuals must register their team name and category via the Canada Goes Birding web page at least two weeks before commencing.



A Big Day is any continuous 24 hour period, starting time chosen by the team, in the three months of April to June.

A Big Sit is conducted over any continuous 24 hour period  without moving from within the boundaries of a circle with a diameter of no more than 17 feet / 5.2 metres

A Big Year runs from January 1 to December 31 of 2017. Green birding rules apply.


The objective is to record as many species of birds as possible within the time periods.

Birders are honourable people. In essence, any bird that can be confidently identified by sight or sound during the contest period can be counted. In the case of teams at least two members must identify each species submitted for it be admissible. If there are particular rarities or unexpected species in a list then we reserve the right to ask for additional evidence such as a photograph or a detailed set of field notes.

Birders can enter more than once during the three-month open period for Big Days – that is, you can have a second or third shot at winning if your original date was a wash out.

There are particular rules for Green Big Days and Big Years

(a) Fully Green Big Day/Year – during the count period only self-powered means of transport (walking, cycling, canoe, etc) can be employed. Starting and finishing locations can be accessed by scheduled public transport (bus, train, ferry) or by self-powered means (walking, cycling, canoe, sail-boat) but not by private car, taxi, airplane etc. The same restriction applies to returning home after the attempt … no “getting a lift” allowed (Green birders have thrashed these ‘rules” out over several years and there is general consensus on this). This will mean that most competitors will be concentrating their efforts on their home birding patches that they will know in depth … something that is highly desirable from the conservation aspect.

(b) “Fairly” Green Big Day – the above transport rules apply once the count period starts but you may use any form of transport to get to and return from your chosen count area. (note that this is not an option for the Big Year category)

For Big Sits, any bird seen or heard within or from within the circle may be counted.  A time-out must be designated when less than two team members are in the defined circle. A bird first seen or heard during a time-out may not be counted until the timeout has come to an end and at least two team members are in the circle.

How to enter

enterSimply follow the link to the entry form and fill it out (please – two weeks at least before the date you will be attempting one of the challenges). That’s all there is to it.  (note: the entry button is not active yet – coming soon)

When you have completed your attempt just send the results, including a full list of all species observed, to BPQ at this address: – if you would like to add a short narrative account of your day/year we would be delighted to read it.