An recent big day event in Taiwan drew birders from around the world to help survey the avian diversity of the Dasyueshan National Forest Recreation Area in central Taiwan and raise environmental awareness of the area. According to FocusTaiwan, 160 participants formed 40 teams, and the winning team spotted a total of 101 bird species, up from the winning total of 98 in 2011. Together, all the teams recorded 152 distinct species in the 24-hour period.
A big day is a challenging event for even the most advanced birders, and the goal is to see as many unique bird species as possible during the allotted time and within the prescribed boundaries. For this event - only the second year it has been organized - many birders arrived early to study the area and plan their route to maximize their bird sightings. Sleep, food and breaks are all secondary or even non-existent concerns to the goal of seeing more birds.
If a big day sounds intense, how about a big year? Learn about the most grueling bird listing contest of all in Mark Obmascik's book, The Big Year: A Tale of Man, Nature and Fowl Obsession.
Photo © Allan Drewitt