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Big Bird Race 2024
© WWF-Hong Kong

Rules and Regulations (Professional Race)

  1. Teams should consist of only four registered members and the names of participants will be indicated in the e-logbook. All species submitted must be seen or heard by four registered members, and only species recorded during the race period will be counted, with each species equivalent to 1 point. The highest-scoring team will be designated the winner. The adjudicator reserves the right to adjust results. 
  2. The race starts at 6 am and ends at 6 pm. Teams may start and end the race anywhere in Hong Kong. Team captains should check the totals for the number of species recorded by their team, nominate both “Bird of the Day” and “Dip of the Day”. No amendment to the e-logbook will be permitted after submission at 6:30 pm. Team captains should try to remain available to answer any queries the Adjudicator may have. 
  3. If the e-logbook is submitted after 6:30 pm, one point will be deducted for every minute after that time. 
  4. Teams should remain together throughout the entire race unless there are exceptional reasons. Scouting or reconnaissance is not allowed by any team member or anyone outside of the team.
  5. Team should count only full species as defined and indicated by the list of Hong Kong Birds (last updated on 2023-10-13) compiled by the Hong Kong Bird Watching Society. Only species in categories I and II of the lists count. In addition, the following conditions apply: 
    • Birds must be unrestrained
    • Birds that are incapacitated or sick, or any that show obvious signs of having been released from captivity will not count
    • All species must be recorded in the territory of Hong Kong
    • Only identifications beyond reasonable doubt should be submitted
    • Only positively identified species are acceptable.
    • Attracting birds with recordings of vocalisations or bait is prohibited
  6. At Mai Po Nature Reserve it is recommended to park the vehicle in the designated parking area and enter the reserve on foot. The track between gei wai 16/17 and 14 at Mai Po Nature Reserve (Vehicle Road) are strictly out of bounds to all teams. 
  7. The adjudicator will critically examine records of difficult-to-identify or unusual species. Team captains should be aware of which species might require verbal or other substantiation. Generally, this requirement would apply to scarce or rare species previously not recorded in the current winter & spring and other species or age classes for which identification may be difficult (e.g. immature gulls).
  8. Known breeding or roost sites, or large concentrations of foraging/loafing birds must not be disturbed. On no account should birds be deliberately flushed.
  9. Information regarding bird species from non-participating birdwatchers given during the race should not be acted upon, unless the information is freely available to all teams.
  10. Teams failing to comply with these requirements, and for which no alternative penalty is specified, will be placed last in the race, irrespective of the number of birds recorded. Any dispute will be referred to the adjudicator whose decision will be final.
  11. The Red or Black Rainstorm Signal or Typhoon No.8 Signal or above is hoisted at 5am on the event day, or there are other adverse incidents beyond the control of WWF, such as the closure of the Mai Po Nature Reserve by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department due to infection control. All donations are non-refundable and will be used to support our conservation and education programmes.