The Cornell Lab October Big Day

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This past weekend my husband and I participated in the Cornell Lab October Big Day! The October Big Day occurred on 17 October 2020 and was part of the very first Global Bird Weekend! The goal of the event was to make it the biggest birding weekend ever. They also had a goal to have over 25,000 eBird checklists submitted on 17 October! My husband and I each submitted our own checklist to support the cause.

According to their website and most recent stats, 71,858 checklists were submitted, 6,931 species were reported, and 30,259 individuals participated!

I’d say it was a smashing success!

Here is a list of birds I included on my checklist:

  • Mourning dove
  • Tufted titmouse
  • White-breasted nuthatch
  • American robin
  • Downy woodpecker
  • Carolina chickadee
  • House finch
  • Northern cardinal

Later in the day, I saw several other birds although I was not officially on birding duty! Those birds included the following:

  • Blue jay
  • American crow
  • 2 different hawks although I could not say for sure what they were
  • Red-bellied woodpecker
  • Turkey vulture
  • Carolina wren

I had actually listed that I had seen a black-capped chickadee however and an eBird volunteer reached out to me with the following message:

The species or count that you have reported is unusual at this date and location.

In our area the most likely chickadee is the very similar Carolina Chickadee. Black-capped would be very unusual for us and unless there is some reason to believe otherwise, chickadees around here are assumed to be Carolina Chickadees.

I live in Beavercreek, Ohio and although the black-capped could potentially be in Ohio, they are usually not as far south as I live. I sent the volunteer a few photographs as well and we determined that I should amend my checklists to state that I had seen Carolina chickadees. They are so very similar though it is incredibly hard to tell the difference between the two!

I enjoyed my time birding and was thrilled to be a part of the October Big Day. I hope you will participate in the next birding weekend.

For more information on the October Big Day, here is their web site:

Image credit: Laura Y. Ceville @BirdHouseLove