Champions of the Flyway 2016

$70,000 raised to protect birds of the Mediterranean flyway!

On 29th March, 16 Champions of the Flyway teams came to Eilat to celebrate the miracle of migration and help stop the illegal killing of migratory birds.

So far, more than $70,000 has been raised to help our 2016 BirdLife Partner: Hellenic Ornithological Society.

Donations are still being accepted.

Conservation funds raised to date

Funds raised to date $70,000 :) :) :)
New Annual Record of $61,000 achieved 27th March :) :)
Initial $50,000 target achieved 17th March :)

Champions of the Flyway: a bird race with a difference

    1. We celebrate the miracle of migration and the joy of sharing outstanding birding experiences.
    2. We operate on a global scale.  Millions of birders from every corner of the world participate – either by racing in person or by following events live online.
    3. Teams generate funding that results in direct conservation action for birds in the Mediterranean flyway

As race teams tweet their sightings in real time, anyone, anywhere in the world can follow the race live on Twitter, or on this website, and participate virtually, cheering their favourite team on to victory.

Everyone can be a Flyway Champion! Here’s how:

Enter a team

Our teams represent a wide range of individuals and brands and the race is open to all who register to take part.  The event is great fun and you will be raising money to protect the same migrants you so often travel to see. If you want to join us in Eilat this spring, please don’t delay. Registration is still open but places are limited so you need to register now.

Sponsor a team

Many of our race teams enjoy the support of commercial sponsors. Some participants are young birders with limited resources, others are would-be fundraisers from small, cash-strapped non-profit organisations. All could really use your support as a team sponsor! If you are interested in providing them a leg up please contact us here. 

Make a donation

Every team that participates raises conservation funding from their friends and contacts. Here are the team pages where you can see who is racing, who you might like to support and how to make a donation to their fundraising page. All teams are in competition to see who will raise the most to stop the illegal killing of birds in 2016.

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook   #COTF2016

Race Day – 29th March, 2016

2016 Champions of the Flyway results

I am a Flyway ChamptionCongratulations to The ZEISS Arctic Redpolls for winning the 2016 Champions of the Flyway, having observed a total of 174 bird species! Second place goes to the IBRCE Flying Dutchmen (171 species) and third place is awarded to our youngest team, the Next Generation Birders (164 species).

The ZEISS/Bird Watcher’s Digest Way-off Coursers take home two awards, both Knights of the Flyway and Guardians of the Flyway, having raised over $12,000 for the cause.

Israeli teams competed in parallel races:

The Champions award goes to Team HOOPOE with 169 species. The Terns come in second with 167 species and The Coursers ring in third at 160 species.

Meanwhile, The Terns raised more money than any other Israeli team for the cause and win the Israeli Guardians of the Flyway.

It was a remarkable event and the real winners of the Champions of the Flyway race are the birds! Collectively, our flyway teams raised a record amount of $67,000. The Hellenic Ornithological Society, our BirdLife in Greece partner, will use these funds to help stop the illegal killing and trapping of birds in Greece.

We congratulate and thank all teams for making this year such a success!

We also thank all the donors who made this record donation possible.

View full results and standings


Official 2016 Champions of the Flyway Anthem.

Cover ROB

The 2016 Conservation Cause: Illegal hunting and trapping of songbirds in Greece

Europe_Greece_ColourThis year we are delighted to be teaming up with our good friends at BirdLife in Greece – the Hellenic Ornithological Society (HOS). And we will be helping them tackle the illegal killing of birds in their country. They need all our help really badly, so please join us and make Champions of the Flyway 2016 an even bigger success than last year!

More than 1 million birds are slaughtered in Greece every year. Action is urgently required and through the Hellenic Ornithological Society – BirdLife in Greece – we will focus on two important projects:

  1. The illegal shooting and trapping of Turtle Doves and other migratory species passing through the Greek Islands.
  1. The illegal trapping of small songbirds for the cage bird black market.

Read more about the situation in Greece and our work to stop illegal killing here. 

Together we CAN make a difference for the birds of the Mediterranean flyways!

Contestants celebrate on Eilat beach in 2015

Champions of the Flyway 2016

And protect the miracle of migration…

Migrating raptors soar over the Eilat mountains

לוגו-פסטיבלאילת-נקיוגדול_1430237748The Champions of the Flyway bird race is staged as part of the Eilat Bird Festival 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.

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