The Tahoe Big Year
Please read the following and "Accept" at the bottom

Participation Rules for the 2024 Tahoe Big Year

  1. Participants must be registered on the Tahoe Big Year website ( Registration can occur anytime between December 1st, 2023 and December 31st, 2024 NOTE: Birds likely to be seen January through June can mostly be seen again July through December. So, you can join half way through the year and still easily compete.
  2. The Tahoe Big Year is free and open to anyone. However, to be eligible for awards and monthly prizes, one needs to be a current member of the Tahoe Institute for Natural Science. Click here to learn more about membership and to join. TINS staff may participate, but are not eligible to win prizes. For more information on prizes, click here.
  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 sign-in name and a password to submit sightings. Register here.
  5. Prizes for the top three places will be awarded in January 2025. 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, 2024
    2. 16 years and older
  6. Recording Rules
    1. Eligible birds must be observed within the TBY boundaries between January 1st and December 31st, 2024.
    2. Birds must be seen. "Heard-only" does not count towards the Tahoe Big Year.
    3. Common birds found at the appropriate season will be accepted by TINS at face value. Rarer birds or birds seen out of season will prompt a request for documentation. Acceptance of rare sightings will be subject to review by the TINS staff. 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.

American Birding Association (ABA) Code of Ethics

Everyone who enjoys birds and birding must always respect wildlife, its environment, and the rights of others. In any conflict of interest between birds and birders, the welfare of the birds and their environment comes first.

Code of Birding Ethics

1. Respect and promote birds and their environment.

(a) Support the conservation of birds and their habitats. Engage in and promote bird-friendly practices whenever possible, such as keeping cats and other domestic animals indoors or controlled, acting to prevent window strikes, maintaining safe feeding stations, landscaping with native plants, drinking shade-grown coffee, and advocating for conservation policies. Be mindful of any negative environmental impacts of your activities, including contributing to climate change. Reduce or offset such impacts as much as you are able.

(b) Avoid stressing birds or exposing them to danger. Be particularly cautious around active nests and nesting colonies, roosts, display sites, and feeding sites. Limit the use of recordings and other audio methods of attracting birds, particularly in heavily birded areas, for species that are rare in the area, and for species that are threatened or endangered. Always exercise caution and restraint when photographing, recording, or otherwise approaching birds.

(c) Always minimize habitat disturbance. Consider the benefits of staying on trails, preserving snags, and similar practicesKeep well back from nests and nesting colonies, roosts, display areas, and important feeding sites. In such sensitive areas, if there is a need for extended observation, photography, filming, or recording, try to use a blind or hide, and take advantage of natural cover.

2. Respect and promote the birding community and its individual members.

(a) Be an exemplary ethical role model by following this Code and leading by example. Always bird and report with honesty and integrity.

(b) Respect the interests, rights, and skill levels of fellow birders, as well as people participating in other outdoor activities. Freely share your knowledge and experience and be especially helpful to beginning birders.

(c) Share bird observations freely, provided such reporting would not violate other sections of this Code, as birders, ornithologists, and conservationists derive considerable benefit from publicly available bird sightings.

(d) Approach instances of perceived unethical birding behavior with sensitivity and respect; try to resolve the matter in a positive manner, keeping in mind that perspectives vary. Use the situation as an opportunity to teach by example and to introduce more people to this Code.

(e) In group birding situations, promote knowledge by everyone in the group of the practices in this Code and ensure that the group does not unduly interfere with others using the same area.

3. Respect and promote the law and the rights of others.

(a) Never enter private property without the landowner’s permission. Respect the interests of and interact positively with people living in the area where you are birding.

(b) Familiarize yourself with and follow all laws, rules, and regulations governing activities at your birding location. In particular, be aware of regulations related to birds, such as disturbance of protected nesting areas or sensitive habitats, and the use of audio or food lures.

Please Follow this Code and Distribute and Teach it to Others

TBY Release AND Indemnity Agreement

By checking the following box, each registrant desires to participate in the Tahoe Big Year competition/event. Therefore, each registrant knowingly and voluntarily WAIVES, RELEASES, SAVES, HOLDS HARMLESS and INDEMNIFIES the Tahoe Institute for Natural Science, a non-profit organization incorporated in the State of Nevada, their agents, volunteers, employees, shareholders, board members & officers, directors, attorneys and contractors, past, present and future, and their respective heirs, legal and personal representatives, successors and assigns (collectively, "Released Parties"), and all of their respective properties, assets and interests ("Released Property") from any and all claims, actions, causes of action, demands, rights, damages, costs, losses, liabilities, expenses, compensation, controversies, disputes, obligations, debts, dues and liens whatsoever, on account of, or in any way arising out of, any and all known or unknown, foreseen or unforeseen loss of life or personal injury, loss or damage to property, and the consequences thereof, directly or indirectly resulting from, incident to, in connection with, or arising out of, that registrant's participation in the Tahoe Big Year (collectively, "Claims"). IT IS MY/OUR INTENTION THAT THIS RELEASE AND INDEMNITY AGREEMENT SHALL APPLY TO ALL OF THE CLAIMS WITHOUT LIMIT AND, TO THE FULLEST EXTENT ALLOWED BY LAW, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER FOUNDED, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, ON ANY NEGLIGENT ACT OR OMISSION OF ANY OF THE RELEASED PARTIES. The registrant's indemnity obligations, however, shall not apply to any Claims that are caused solely by the acts or omission of a person other than that registrant.

I have read the information provided to me pertaining to the Tahoe Big Year, including all terms, conditions involving eligibility, and participation, sponsored in whole or part by the Tahoe Institute for Natural Science, and I understand, consent to and agree to be bound by the conditions and provisions stated in those policies and that clause.

I have read and understand this Release and Indemnity Agreement, which contains the entire and final agreement relating to the subject matter hereof. Its terms shall be binding on me and on my heirs, legal representatives and assigns. Liability under this Release and Indemnity Agreement shall be joint and several. If any provisions of this Release and Indemnity Agreement is determined to be void, unenforceable, ineffective, or against public policy, that provision shall be disregarded and deemed removed from this Release and Indemnity Agreement. The terms of this Release and Indemnity Agreement are contractual and not mere recitals. THIS WAIVER AND SAVE HARMLESS AGREEMENT SHALL BE GOVERNED BY AND CONSTRUCTED UNDER THE LAWS OF THE STATE OF NEVADA. VENTURE FOR ENFORCEMENT OF THIS RELEASE AND INDEMNITY AGREEMENT SHALL BE IN WASHOE COUNTY, NEVADA.

PARENTAL CONSENT (to be completed by parent/guardian if participant is under 18 years of age)

By checking the following boxes, I hereby consent that my son/daughter participate in the Tahoe Big Year, a competition/event put on by the Tahoe Institute for Natural Science and I hereby execute the TBY Release and Indemnity Agreement on his/her behalf by checking the following box. I state that said minor is physically able to participate in said activity. I hereby agree to indemnify and hold the persons and entities mentioned above free and harmless from any loss, liability, damage, cost, or expense which they incur as a result of the death or injury or property damage that said minor may sustain while participating in said activity.

Parent/Guardian Name
I have read and agree to all rules and ethics associated with the Tahoe Big Year
I have read and agree to the TBY Release and Indemnity Agreement