Participation Rules for the 2021 Tahoe Big Year

  1. Participants must be registered on the Tahoe Big Year website ( Registration can occur anytime between December 1st, 2020 and December 31st, 2021 to participate.
    NOTE: One great thing about birds in the greater Tahoe area is that the birds likely to be seen January through June can mostly be seen again July through December. So, one can join half way through the year and still easily compete.
  2. Participation in the Tahoe Big Year is free and open to anyone who wishes. However, to be eligible for the end of the year awards and monthly prizes, one needs to be a member, in good standing, of the Tahoe Institute for Natural Science ( TINS staff may participate, but are not eligible to win prizes. For more information on prizes, please follow the "Prizes" button under the "About TBY" tab.
  3. Participants must read and agree to abide by the TBY Participation Rules and the American Birding Association (ABA) "Code of Ethics."
  4. Participants are required to log their data into the Tahoe Big Year website. Each participant will need to create an individual profile with sign-in name and a password to submit sightings.
  5. Prizes for the top three places of the competition in each age category will be awarded in mid-January 2022. In the event of a tie, the participant who reached the highest tally first by submission will be awarded the prize. The two age categories are:
    1. 15 years and younger, as of January 1st, 2021
    2. 16 years and older
  6. Recording Rules
    1. Eligible birds must be observed within the TBY boundaries (see "TBY Boundaries" under the "About TBY" tab for more information) between January 1st and December 31st, 2021.
    2. Birds must be seen. "Heard-only" do not count towards the Tahoe Big Year.
    3. Submission of bird species recognized as sufficiently common by the Tahoe Institute for Natural Science in the greater Tahoe area and within a given season will be accepted on face value. Rare birds or birds seen out of season will prompt a request for documentation. Acceptance of rare sightings will be subject to review by the Tahoe Institute for Natural Science. As much information as can be obtained and, if possible, photos are recommended to help with the review process. Information and photos for rare sightings can be entered into the website while adding sightings.
    4. The bird must be alive, wild, and unrestrained when encountered.
    5. Diagnostic field marks for the bird, sufficient to identify it to species, must be seen and/or heard and/or documented by the participant at the time of the encounter.
    6. The bird must have been encountered under conditions that conform to the ABA Code of Ethics. For more information, please follow the "ABA Code of Ethics" button under the "About TBY" tab.