What is the Big Sit?

The Big Sit, also known as the ultimate tailgate party for bird watchers, is a 24-hour period of birdwatching!

This year’s event will take place on Sunday, October 14 beginning at midnight. The Big Sit, originally founded by the New Haven (CT) Bird Club, now in its 23rd year is hosted by Bird Watcher’s Digest and is sponsored by Swarovski Optik. The 2018 year marks the 14th year the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes has been a Big Sit site. Over the past decade, dozens of birds observed within the 24-hour period have been reported.

In previous years, the species of birds saw the following number of species of birds from the All People’s Trail overlooking the marsh: 53 (2005), 45 (2006), 51 (2007), 45 (2008), 37 (2009), 50 (2010), 55 (2011), 44 (2012) 46 (2013), 50 (2014), 52 (2015, 46 (2016), and 49 (2017). To see the list of species recorded in Ohio during the 2017 Big Sit, click here.

Attending The Big Sit is free and no registration is required. Pledges and donations are accepted to support bird banding research and bird-related projects here at the Nature Center. Pledges can be made in-person at the Nature Center, on Sunday at the Big Sit or by email to Julie West at jwest@ameritech.net.

The results from all the participating locations, including the Nature Center, will be reported on the Bird Watcher’s Digest website. After all the results are tabulated, a bird species (called the “Golden Bird”) will be selected by random drawing from the total list of all species seen in North America. All of the sites that listed that bird will be put into another random drawing. The randomly selected winning circle wins the Golden Bird prize of $500 donated by Swarovski Optik. 

We hope to see you on the trails this Sunday, looking and listening for migrating birds!