Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to sign up or register?
Yes. You must sign up for an account and register for the Event prior to Big Day Boston 2023 in order to participate. Please use our Contact form if you have trouble signing up.

How much does it cost?
Big Day Boston 2023 is free!

Do I need to be a birding expert to participate?
Absolutely not. You do need to be able to identify the birds you see though. A good field guide and basic familiarity with it should be all you need.

What counts as a sighting?
Bird species that can be unambiguously identified by sight or sound can be counted. Birders are encouraged to use both sight and sound wherever possible. Visual confirmation is preferred over audial.

Can a group of people bird together and submit a single scorecard?
Sure. The group must remain together for the duration of the competition and all members of the party must see all species counted.

What if not all members of my group saw or heard a bird?
Then you can't count it!

What does the winner get!?
Besides bragging rights?

Why didn't you include <insert neighborhood or park>?
We had two main criteria when creating the boundaries:

  1. Close to downtown and
  2. Not already a popular birding hotspot

South Boston, for example, is a little of both: it's too big for all of it to be considered close to downtown plus it contains Castle Island - a birding hotspot. Franklin Park (another park I get asked about frequently - and all the other lovely parks in Roxbury, Dorchester, Mattapan, etc) is also too far out and already a known birding hotspot.

Can I visit the aquarium and count the penguins!?
Lol. No. No captive or pet birds can be counted.

Do I need to live in Boston to participate?
Nope. All (who have registered and can physically get here on May 6th) are welcome to participate. (This includes Aunts in New Hampshire with ornithological tendencies, Thomas.)

Why does this competition exist?
We think that Big Day Boston is the anti-competition birding competition. It encourages people to get to know the birds in their own backyards. It's the slow-birding answer to competitions that are more... competitive. For more in formation, see our Inspiration page.

What if my question isn't answered here?
Please use our Contact form to ask your question. If it's popular, we'll add it here.