Competing teams from around the world will try to find, identify and log as many species as possible – as they go head to head in an intense 24 hour contest to win the coveted title “Champions of the Flyway”.
The birders taking part are of many different nationalities and represent a huge variety of businesses, conservation organisations and bird clubs. On April 1st 2014, all will line up together in Eilat with a common purpose – to celebrate the miracle of migration in this spectacular part of the Great Rift Valley and to help protect its future throughout the Africa Eurasia Flyway.
The race teams will initially meet in Eilat on March 28th and then spend three days familiarizing themselves with the course and birds, in preparation for race day. Champions of the Flyway is a focal event during the famous annual Eilat Bird Festival.
The Champions of the Flyway bird race is being staged by The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (BirdLife’s national Partner in Israel) and is a BirdLife International Migratory Birds & Flyways Programme initiative.
SPNI and BirdLife International are pleased to announce that the first conservation project to receive funds from the Champions of the Flyway Bird Race will be run by Bird Conservation Georgia
The Batumi bottleneck in south-west Georgia is an area of the utmost importance for migratory birds. With more than one million migrating raptors of up to 35 species passing through the area, it is simply the greatest autumn bottleneck for migrating birds of prey in all Eurasia.
Regrettably, 10,000 birds of prey are illegally killed there every year!
If you’d like to compete alongside some of the world’s best birders you’ve come to the right place!
Fancy challenging them? No problem. Find another three birding superstars to join you, land yourself a sponsor and register your team.
But don’t forget the most important bit… get all your friends, colleagues and contacts to sponsor you to raise funds for the conservation cause.
Every team will also be competing to see who can raise the most money to help BirdLife stop the illegal killing of birds in Southern and Eastern Europe.
The competition is going to be fierce, so have you got what it takes? Or maybe you just want an excuse to go birding in wonderful, bird-rich Eilat?
To be serious contenders you’ll need a great strategy.
With just 24 hours from midnight to midnight, where will you find the most different birds in the shortest time?
You’ll need to scout the area, plan your tactics and plot your course.
Will your plan pay off? Champions of the Flyway is bound to be as much a battle of minds as one of fieldcraft.
When the clock starts ticking, the race is on. The whole event will be reported live on this website, allowing everyone a ring-side seat of the action.
Teams will be tweeting and posting throughout, telling us what they are seeing minute by minute…
Rip em and grip em! – Submit photos and videos of the birds and action you encounter as you go and we’ll post them – live.
Imagine how gripped the other team’s will be when you post pics of the mega you’ve just found!
In addition to winning the title “Champions of the Flyway” for ”Most birds recorded” three other category awards will be made.
Watch out of for details of the extraordinary prizes that are being provided by our generous sponsors.
However you get on – one winner is already guaranteed. The birds!
Remember, every step of the way you will be helping BirdLife stop the illegal killing of birds in Southern and Eastern Europe.
Are you in? Good on you. We thought so…
“Migratory birds with their mysterious comings and goings through the seasons, have intrigued and inspired people for millennia.
The more we learn of their epic journeys and sophisticated navigation systems, the more they amaze us. Bird migration is truly one of nature’s greatest spectacles, yet as their lifecycles depend on healthy ecosystems spread over huge regions, migratory birds are highly sensitive to issues like habitat degradation, unsustainable hunting and pollution.
Migrant birds are now declining fast in all continents and act as powerful icons of our need to work together across countries to protect the global environment. Champions of the Flyway aims to celebrate migratory birds and bring people together to support conservation across borders.
Join us and you will support the BirdLife Partnership in our fight to preserve the miracle of bird migration”
“I have taken part in many bird races, from belting round the British countryside in a Land Rover, to scanning for 24 hours from the top of a tower in Finland, to travelling 48 hours across Kenya transported by a rally driver and a light aircraft. This bird race is a little bit special though…