The Tahoe Big Year
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.