Observations can be made from any area within the state/country you live, or wish to represent.
Observations can only be made from within your pre-determined 17-foot (diameter) circle.
There’s no limit to how many people can occupy one circle (other than the obvious spatial limitations). Bring some chairs. Have a picnic or barbeque. Welcome passers-by and their contributions to your list.
If a bird is seen or heard from within the circle but is too distant to identify, the circle can be left to get a closer look/listen to confirm the bird’s identity. However, any new bird species seen or heard while confirming the original, can’t be counted unless it’s seen or heard from an “anchor” who stayed behind in your circle, or is seen by you when you return to your circle.
Tally the number of species that you observe.
Big Sit participants can work in shifts. No one person needs to be there throughout the whole Big Sit! The area can be left and returned to as frequently as desired, but you must be sure to return to the exact 17-foot diameter circle each time.
The same circle must be used for the entire Big Sit!
The Big Sit! will begin at 12:00am midnight and end 24 hours later.
The Big Sit! has traditionally been held annually on the second Sunday in October. However some Sit participants are unable to Sit on Sundays, so we’ve opened up the Sit to include the Saturday (the day prior to the second Sunday). This also allows for flexibility in cases of bad weather. Sitters are encouraged, when reporting their results, to indicate which on date they are conducting their Big Sit.
All Big Sit circles are encouraged to register prior to the Sit and to input their results after the Sit is over. This is the best way for Big Sit circles to share their results and it ensures that the circle is eligible for The Golden Bird Prize.
Identifying birds is at the very heart of bird watching. Each bird encountered is like a little puzzle or mystery to solve, because, while birds of a single species all share a certain set of physical traits, no two individual birds, like no two individual humans, are exactly alike.