On May 4th, thousands of birders participated in the Global Big Day, an international collaboration attempt to see the largest amount of bird species around the world within a 24-hour period.

The day has been dubbed as “the biggest day in birding”.  An impressive 33 607 people from around the world ventured into fields and forest finding 6847 species of birds.  That’s 2/3rds of the world’s bird species in 24 hours and a new world record for the number of people birding in a single day.

Bokmakierie photographed by Ranger Jéan Taute

Bokmakierie photographed by Ranger Jéan Taute

The winning country of the day

Colombia, in South America, led the world in bird species on Global Big Day, for the third year in a row with a whopping 1591 species recorded! The Amazon rainforest is the largest tropical rainforest in the world and covers an extensive percentage of Colombia’s total territory. Interestingly, this beautiful country is the second most biologically diverse country on Earth with 10% of the world’s species.

Stats in Africa & South Africa

In Africa, the top two countries were Kenya with 435 bird species sighted, and South Africa with 415 bird species identified.  Surprisingly, South Africa had more participants that submitted checklists.

The Shamwari Rangers Department decided to join in on the global movement, with an array of magnificent species in our territory.  In the Eastern Cape alone, a total of 191 species of birds were sighted, placing the Eastern Cape second in South Africa.

With the Shamwari rangers getting involved, Shamwari came 4th overall in the country with 116 species identified.

Photographed by Ranger Sean Harris


By participating in this fun global day, eBirders gathered more than 1.85 million bird sightings on May 4th. This valuable information is used to aid conservation and research in helping to keep birds where they belong. Fellow birders can access this information to learn about the worlds bird species – a great way to pay homage to our feathered friends!