Uganda Big Birding Day & Festival

Event date: 19 October 2012 - 27 October 2012

Venue: Various, country-wide
Country: Uganda
Organisers: NatureUganda in collaboration with Uganda Wildlife Authority, USAID Sustainable Tourism in the Albertine Rift project (STAR-Uganda), the Uganda Bird GuidesClub, Uganda Tourism Board, Uganda community tourism association, National Forestry Authority and the Honorary Wardens.
Website: Uganda Big Birding Day & Festival

Uganda Big Birding day 2012 logo

Description: The Uganda Big Birding Festival is a birding activity organized by NatureUganda in collaboration with Uganda Wildlife Authority, USAID Sustainable Tourism in the Albertine Rift project (STAR-Uganda), the Uganda Bird GuidesClub, Uganda Tourism Board, Uganda community tourism association, National Forestry Authority and the Honorary Wardens. The activity combines avian conservation with awareness and tourism development initiatives in Uganda. The aims of this event is to use bird conservation to help promote tourism in Uganda and also bridge the information gap in Uganda by linking up all bird watchers, tourism promoters and conservationists in the country with each other and the rest of the world. This in addition generates a geo-referenced and updated species list of Uganda’s birds and develops an electronic database of the bird species, indicating the distribution patterns in Uganda.

How the Big Birding Day Events will be organized 
The Big Birding Day will be organized as a three day event on the 19th, 20th and 27th October 2012. The events will include the launch of the Big Birding Day on 19th October, the Birding Day on 20th October and the Birding Festival on 27th October. The launch will be a small event to announce the schedule of all activities and set off the birders to conduct birding the following day. It will be in form of a public talk with a guest speaker talking about something around birds or birding and conservation in Uganda. The birding event will include guided nature walks throughout the country. We shall have expert ornithologists and/or bird guides from among NatureUganda membership and Uganda Bird Guides Club (UBGC) who will lead participants at various locations to a competition on Bird watching throughout the country. The event will be a 24 hour bird watching contest throughout the country, from midnight to midnight the following day. The event will involve selecting groups each with at least 2 members who are experienced bird watchers/guides to confirm the species identification. All birds seen and heard calling within the sites will be recorded by the group at that site. The activity will be aimed at: updating the species list for birds in Uganda and promoting avian tourism in Uganda. This activity will be done in collaboration with STAR-Uganda, UWA, UBGC, Uganda Tourism Board, NFA, UCOTA, and Hon. Wardens among others.

A tally centre will be set up at NatureUganda to receive all records from all participating sites. The tally centre will be equipped with computers fully connected with internet, telephone lines and personnel. Results from the birding event will be received at the tally centre beginning as soon as teams start leaving the birding sites. The strategy is to receive, compile and analyze all the data and come up with a summary from all the participating sites before the Big Birding day Festival on which these results will be announced.

The Big Birding day Festival will be the climax of the Big Birding Day events. It will begin with a morning bird walk around a selected site and members will later assemble for a ceremony where there will be presentations and announcements of the results from the Birding exercise. Awards will be given out for example to the sponsors and the best birding teams.