eBird Global Big Day 2021 on Matetsi Private Game Reserve

8 May 2021 marked the eBird Global Big Day 2021, a worldwide annual celebration of the birds around us. This year there were over fifty thousand participants across the globe and over seven thousand species identified in the single day!

This year on the Global Bid Day, our guiding team were joined by Professional Guide and birding enthusiast, James Varden, who also runs our guide training program.

They started at dawn in order to make the most of the day, to cover as many of the different habitats within the 136,000 acres Matetsi Private Game Reserve and to identify as may species as possible within the 24-hour period.

By day end, our team made it to 130 species, which was the highest count in Zimbabwe! A really great effort from the team, and a count that greatly exceed that of our 2020 Global Big Day.

The full list for 2021 (below) gives an idea of the huge variety of bird species that call Matetsi Private Game Reserve home.

1White-faced Duck
2Egyptian Goose
3Red-billed Teal
4Helmeted Guineafowl
5Natal Spurfowl
6Swainson’s Francolin
7Crested Francolin
8Red-eyed Dove
9Cape Turtle-Dove
10Laughing Dove
11Emerald-spotted Wood-Dove
12Namaqua Dove
13African Green-Pigeon
14Double-banded Sandgrouse
15Kori Bustard
16Grey Go-away-bird
17Senegal Coucal
18White-browed/Burchell’s Coucal
19Black Crake
20Water Thick-knee
21Black-winged Stilt
22Blacksmith Lapwing
23White-headed Lapwing
24Wattled Lapwing
25Three-banded Plover
26African Jacana
27Three-banded Courser
28Bronze-winged Courser
29African Openbill
30African Darter
31Reed Cormorant
33Black-headed Heron
34Goliath Heron
35Cattle Egret
36Rufous-bellied Heron
37Green-backed Heron
38African Sacred Ibis
39Hadeda Ibis
40Hooded Vulture
41White-backed Vulture
43Brown Snake-Eagle
44Tawny Eagle
45African Hawk-Eagle
46Lizard Buzzard
47African Goshawk
48Little Sparrowhawk
49Ovambo Sparrowhawk
50African Fish-Eagle
51Barn Owl
52African Scops-Owl
53Southern White-faced Owl
54Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl
55Pearl-spotted Owlet
56Red-faced Mousebird
57Eurasian Hoopoe
58Green Woodhoopoe
59Common Scimitarbill
60Southern Ground-Hornbill
61Bradfield’s Hornbill
62African Grey Hornbill
63Southern Red-billed Hornbill
64Trumpeter Hornbill
65Brown-hooded Kingfisher
66Striped Kingfisher
67Giant Kingfisher
68Pied Kingfisher
69White-fronted Bee-eater
70Little Bee-eater
71Swallow-tailed Bee-eater
72Lilac-breasted Roller
73Crested Barbet
74Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird
75Black-collared Barbet
76Cardinal Woodpecker
77Bearded Woodpecker
78Meyer’s Parrot
79Black Cuckooshrike
80African Golden Oriole
81Chinspot Batis
82White-crested Helmetshrike
83Retz’s Helmetshrike
85Black-backed Puffback
86Brown-crowned Tchagra
87Tropical Boubou
88Orange-breasted Bushshrike
89Grey-headed Bushshrike
90Fork-tailed Drongo
91African Paradise-Flycatcher
92Magpie Shrike
93Southern Black-Tit
94Dusky Lark
95Chestnut-backed Sparrow-Lark
96Long-billed Crombec
97Burnt-neck Eremomela
98Green-backed Camaroptera
99Yellow-breasted Apalis
100Tawny-flanked Prinia
101Zitting Cisticola
102Wire-tailed Swallow
103Lesser Striped Swallow
104Yellow-bellied Greenbul
105Terrestrial Brownbul
106Dark-capped Bulbul
107Arrow-marked Babbler
108Red-billed Oxpecker
109Violet-backed Starling
110Meves’s Starling
111Greater Blue-eared Starling
112Cape Glossy Starling
113Kurrichane Thrush
114Ashy Flycatcher
115White-browed Scrub-Robin
116White-browed Robin-Chat
117Collared Sunbird
118Scarlet-chested Sunbird
119White-browed Sparrow-Weaver
120African Golden Weaver
121Red-billed Quelea
122Blue Waxbill
123Green-winged Pytilia
124Red-billed Firefinch
125Village Indigobird
126Southern Grey-headed Sparrow
127Yellow-throated Petronia
128African Pied Wagtail
129Buffy Pipit
130Rosy-throated Longclaw

“We didn’t get any of the Zambezi specials but the Rosy-throated Longclaw is an excellent record.” – James Varden, Professional Guide & birding enthusiast

Days like this give our guiding team an opportunity to learn even more about bird identification and how important it is to be 100% accurate, as the sightings are recorded and logged in research databases.

You can find the global breakdown of species and participation on the eBird website, here. The Matetsi Victoria Falls list, logged by James Varden, is on the eBird website, here.

Thanks to James Varden for sharing photos, updates and the complete list from the Global Big Day. And many thanks as always to the extended Matetsi family, including Daniel Hargrove, for sharing their bird photos with us that we have included in this write up.

Want to see more of what we get up to in this corner of the world? Connect with us on Instagram:

James Varden / Ride Zimbabwe

Matetsi Victoria Falls


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