Saving threatened habitats worldwide

Bird Race Challenge

Date and Time: 
13-14 May 2017, midnight to midnight
WLT offices, Halesworth, Suffolk

Over the weekend of 13 May World Land Trust (WLT) will be hosting the Bird Race Challenge, a sponsored 24 hour race across East Anglia for teams to spot as many bird species as they can. 

Based on the Big Bird Races of the early 1980s, World Land Trust's team will be competing against a Big Bird Race Challenge foursome, hoping to raise £15,000 for a  project in Bolivia to help the Critically Endangered Blue-throated Macaw

The teams will be competing for the coveted Bird Race trophy; a Victorian egg-warmer acquired in 1981 by WLT CEO John Burton at a sale in Suffolk. Impressive as the silverware is in its own right, it is made exceptionally special by a priceless feature. The late, great, naturalist Sir Peter Scott donated to the bird race challenge a signed egg of one of his beloved Hawaiian Geese, a species he saved from extinction.

To highlight the diversity of bird species across reserves supported by WLT, May’s event will also have an international dimension, with World Land Trust partners in many countries being invited to take part in similar races on the same day. 

Get involved

Anyone wanting to join in the race, can take part in the Virtual Bird Race, where you can get out and count bird species and submit your results online. 

Email your team name and location before the event and your results afterwards to and we’ll include you on our Roll of Honour. There will be some fun prizes for highest scores, most money raised and best team name. 


  • The welfare of the birds must come first. Therefore disturbance (flushing sitting birds off nests etc.) is not allowed.
  • Use of tape lures, bird recordings or playback to attract birds is forbidden.
  • The race will be held over a maximum of 24 hours during the weekend of 13th/14th May 2017. If you want to do less hours that is absolutely fine, but no more than 24 hours please.
  • Teams can be made up of as many members as you like, but all members must see or hear each species during the race for them to count.
  • Oiled or sick birds do not count.
  • Trespassing in search of birds is forbidden.
  • All distances must be covered at an average speed under the speed limit for each road.
  • For non-UK teams a handicap system will be in place. This will consist of working out a team’s total as a percentage of the country’s species list so that teams competing in (for example) rain forest regions are on a par with teams competing elsewhere.
  • Carbon emissions are a major issue worldwide so we are asking each team to donate a minimum of £5 which will be used by World Land Trust's Carbon Balanced programme towards offsetting the team’s carbon emissions during the race.

Sponsor the Bird Race Challenge

with PayPal

Find out more on the Bird Race Challenge website »

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