New Rules and New Categories for the 2020 Birding Classic!

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Birding Classic artwork

Time to Sign Up for the Birding Classic!

The registration deadline for the Great Texas Birding Classic is less than a month away! Register today to join this fun, friendly, birdwatching event. There are categories for all ages and skill levels (including beginners!), so select the one that works best for you.

Registration Deadline: September 14
Tournament Day: Pick any day from October 1-31

What to Know Before You Register

Birding in masks

Due to the pandemic, the Birding Classic is going to look a little different this year. Some rules have been modified and new tournament categories have been added in order to help participants bird close to home, abide by state and local ordinances, and still have fun in the outdoors.

Key tournament rules:

  • Teams must have 3-5 team members.
    • EXCEPTION: Big Sit! teams may have 1 or more people on each team.
  • Participants must focus on their home "patch" (i.e. window views, yards, neighborhoods, or outdoor public spaces such as parks) within a 50-mile radius of their homes.
  • "Dispersed Flock" teams may have team members located anywhere in Texas or in their selected region (depending on if the team has entered the statewide or regional tournament). Several tournament categories offer this option.
  • “Intact Flock” teams are composed of people within a quarantine "pod" of family/friends (i.e., those they regularly interact with during this pandemic) while following any local or state ordinances pertaining to the pandemic. Three tournament categories offer this option.
  • Big Sit! teams bird from within a 50-foot diameter circle. Per state COVID-19 guidelines for outdoor gatherings, no more than 10 people at a time may bird within the circle.
  • Wash hands often, wear a mask, and maintain 6-foot distances between you and other people not in your quarantine "pod."
  • Participants may not share optics, equipment, or books or ride in the same vehicle except with others in their quarantine "pod."
  • The 95% rule from previous Birding Classics applies only to the "Intact Flock" categories. This means 95% of all birds recorded by an "Intact Flock" team must be tallied and identified by all members of the team. The remaining 5% may be identified by 2 or more members.
  • The 95% rule will not apply in any "Dispersed Flock" categories nor to the Big Sit! Teams only need 1 team member to identify a species for it to count.
  • Participants may be members of more than 1 team. Registration fees need to be submitted for each team.

Review the complete rules for all of the updates to this year's event.