World Series of Birding
Facts and Figures

What is the World Series of Birding?

It’s a game, it’s a marathon, it’s a challenge, it’s a heck of a lot of fun!

Many great birders have raised glasses in this event.  The first official World Series of Birding began at midnight on May 19, 1984, when just thirteen teams set out on a 24-hour treasure hunt.  Their mission was to tally as many species of birds by sight or sound.  Their objective was to raise money for their favorite environmental cause, and to focus worldwide attention upon the habitat needs of migrating birds.

They succeeded beyond anyone’s dreams.  Today there are thousands of participants in the event and the event has grown into several categories and ways to play.

Level I - Competing Teams who vie for awards in several categories
Level II - Non-competing
Level III - Youth Challenge for ages 6-18 within their respective youth groups
Level IV - Senior Challenge for ages 60 and over

When is it? 

This year on May 10, 2014 and normally on the 2nd, or occasionally 3rd, Saturday of May - rain or shine.  Mark your calendars and start planning your strategy.

Gather your team mates near and far and share in the excitement and camaraderie that is part of North America’s most celebrated conservation event - the World Series of Birding! 

Why a World Series of Birding?

Over the past thirty years, this event has changed the birding landscape, has brought birding to the attention of the media, and has raised close to $9 million for bird conservation.

• It draws attention to the habitat of migrating birds 

• It gives birders a chance to put their birding skills to use for a good cause.

• It brings together birders of all levels of experience, local conservation groups, schools and youth groups,
   and businesses that care about the environment.

• It generates of lot of money for conservation causes.

• It focuses global media attention upon the challenge, adventure, and fun of birding.

Where is it?  

Right here within the confines of New Jersey.  One of the best birding states in North America - and doable in a single day!

Who organizes it?

This event was founded by birders and continues to be organized by birders.  It is hosted by New Jersey Audubon, an independent, membership supported organization.  The event is endorsed by the American Birding Association, Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, and sponsored by numerous environmental, conservation-minded businesses and individuals.

What does NJ Audubon gain?

More energy, more event profile and more interest from potential sponsors - and teams.  AND publicity.  AND more money gets raised for conservation.

What do other organizations gain?

We’ve got the perfect fund raising vehicle for you.  All you need to do is enter a team in this event and it will generate publicity, allowing you to raise more money in support of your team’s conservation cause.  Register for the event and solicit pledges for your team.  Pledges can be based on per species seen ($1 a bird), or a flat amount.  Many teams use this event as a major fund raiser for their organization and makes very effective use of effort.  Individual teams have generated up to $200,000 through their participation.

Who gets the money?

Over $600,000 is raised annually by this event on behalf of conservation. 

Any money raised by any registered competing team (Level I), Youth Team (Level III) or Senior Team (Level IV) is yours to go to whatever conservation cause you choose.  ALL OF IT.  It is entirely up to the registered teams.  You raise the money, you put it toward your conservation cause or program.  New Jersey Audubon takes no portion of pledge money not raised on its behalf.  The only money New Jersey Audubon takes is the registration fee.

How does it work?   

The World Series of Birding is a competitive “Big Day”.  Teams have up to 24 hours to count as many bird species as they can identify by sight or sound within the state of New Jersey.  Each species seen or heard counts as one.

We lay the ground work, give you the playing field and the rules to follow and the rest is up to you.

How many birds could be seen?

Totals can vary according to weather conditions, fronts, the experience and skill of the teams, the complexity of the route, the amount of scouting, and luck (good and bad).  Competing team totals have ranged from 48 to 229 with an average of 165 species.  The total cumulative number of species tallied by all teams in a given year ranges from a low of 245 to a high of 270.  The cumulative total since 1984 is 330 species.

Don’t New Jersey birders have an edge?

Home field advantage is important in many sports.  It has a familiarity, you know the lay of the land so to speak.  But when the Big Day come around, every one is on equal ground because birds move.  We’ve had teams from all over the world compete and many of the top teams are from outside of New Jersey.  In fact, out-of-state teams fare better than the New Jersey based teams.  Good scouting and good strategy can make all the difference.  And you can count on help from veteran teams.

What are you waiting for?

Consider joining the many individuals from all over the globe who have teams in this event.  Learn logistical support from colleagues who have figured out how to do this after many years in the game.  You can count on the help and expertise of veteran participants because sharing is the hallmark of the World Series of Birding.

No matter what the final tally, 

everyone wins, nobody loses, and 

you’ve helped the environment.