Friday 30th September 2011 will be the BIG BIRDING DAY 2011! It is a day when bird watching enthusiasts come together to celebrate Uganda’s famous bird species whose population is said to be one of the highest in Africa. It is the third consecutive year that the day will be celebrated after it was officially launched in October 2010.
Uganda boasts of over 1000 bird species, with over 50% of the bird species found on the continent of Africa. With a variety of species in the protected wilderness, a trip to the Pearl of Africa for bird watching is the most fulfilling life experience.
To embrace all this, the conservation and tourism marketing partners; Nature Uganda, Uganda Tourism Board, Uganda Wildlife Authority, Uganda Bird Guides Association, Star Uganda, National Forest Authority, Uganda Community Based Association and Association of Tour Operators have once again joined to arouse national and international interest in birding while improving awareness of such a potential attraction on the “Uganda Big Birding Day” under the theme “Connecting Birds to People and Nature”.
Economically, there is a high potential to generate over $30 million per year if more bird lovers visited the Pearl. It is imperative to note that between 2008 and 2009 more than 2000 birders spent more than $6M, surpassing the $3.3M earned from gorilla tracking.
The Big Birding Groups shall be formed at midnight on 29th September 2011, from which the race shall begin in recording the different birds identified in respective sites chosen by each group until midnight the following day. The records shall then be submitted to the tally centre at Nature Uganda offices, where the results shall be compiled for an official announcement of the winners on the Big Birding Day.
A series of nation-wide activities shall follow the big birding race involving all bird-watching groups that will have established earlier on. This exercise is aimed at showcasing the number of birds one can identify, watch and enjoy in one day across the naturally gifted land of Uganda, creating a bond between watchers, promoters, environmentalists in Uganda and across the world.
Free entry for all participants bird watching in National Parks, Wildlife Reserves and Forest Reserves on this day has been granted by UWA and NFA.
With the launch of the Birding Uganda website, the third Big Birding Day celebrations shall be climaxed on 01st October. This website will be the major source of information and avenue for promoting bird watching activities in Uganda.A documentary about Birds, speeches from guests and inspiring birders, with value addition and sustainable tourism information, the Big Birding shall be one not to dare miss. Results of the Counts will be announced and the winners shall be acknowledged with lots of prizes, backed by lots of entertainers
How you can participate
To participate, please register with Nature Uganda at their office on Plot 83 Tufnell drive Kamwokya or at their website www.natureuganda.org, or at their branches at the Universities in Gulu, Mbarara and Mbale and at all National Parks and Wildlife Reserves.
Everybody is welcome.Those intending to travel to National parks or other sites need to make their private arrangements for travel and accommodation.