March 25, 2020

Lockdown Birding Challenge

The Lockdown Birding Challenge ran from 27 March to 16 May 2020. See here for a summary of results.

While the country is under lockdown, what better way to turn this into a positive contribution than to record the birds around your home? Do you see species you haven’t recorded before? Which species are found where in your city? What is the behaviour of the birds you see? You can contribute to answering these questions and more through the Lockdown Birding Challenge.

At your home, from Friday, 27th March until the lockdown ends, look for birds for exactly 15 min, standing at the same place (ie ‘stationary protocol’) in the following time slots every day

  • 4-6 AM (optional)
  • 6-9 AM (at least one list)
  • 4-7 PM (at least one list)
  • 7-10 PM (optional)

The purpose of the pre-dawn and the night lists are to document early-rising birds and nocturnal species, respectively.

Lists must be ‘complete‘ (all birds you were able to identify are included) and uploaded to the eBird platform (

As with our other birding challenges, all those who manage to meet the target will be named on this website, and one among them will be chosen at random to receive a small gift in appreciation.

Please ensure that you adhere to all instructions by central and local authorities while birding.

Didn’t manage to start on the 27th of March, or can’t do this daily? No worries, please start right away and document birds at your home for as many days as you can. All those who have participated in the challenge for at least 10 days will also be recognized and listed!

Further notes:

  • If you see flocks of birds flying over (eg towards their roosting sites in the evening) do mark them as “Flyover” and mention the direction of flight in the comments.
  • If birds are feeding on a flowering or fruiting tree nearby, again please mention this (including the species of tree) in the comments.
  • The relative lack of noise is a good opportunity to try out some bird sound recordings using your smartphone (if you don’t have other recording equipment). Alternatively, you can record video on your camera and then separate the audio out (here’s how).
  • Many of our resident birds have already started their breeding activities.  Make sure that you choose the appropriate breeding behaviour code. You can do that by clicking on ‘Add details’ next to the species name and then use the ‘Breeding code’ drop-down menu.  

Oriental Magpie Robin by Isheta Divya. Recorded on iPhone7.

Important. if you are new to eBird, please read this description first, and do take a look at our quick-start infographic and also the more comprehensive Beginner’s Guide.

The eBird mobile app is one of the easiest ways to upload your sightings. Here is a video to help you learn how to submit a checklist through the app.

Header: Coppersmith Barbet, by Abhiram Shankar/Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab, from this list.

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Sarah Thomas
Sarah Thomas
2 years ago

Spotted a grey hornbill outside my bedroom window at about 6:39 a.m. this morning ! Created quite a cacophony .

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