Champions of the Flyway is an annual international awareness and fundraising campaign to support bird conservation issues of utmost importance. It is comprised of a month long+ media frenzy followed by a Bird Race (e.g. Birdathon, Big Day) in Eilat, Israel. The Champions of the Flyway bird race is staged as part of the Eilat Bird Festival by The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (BirdLife’s national Partner in Israel) and is a BirdLife International Migratory Birds & Flyways Programme initiative.
In 2019, the initiative is supporting Vulture conservation in Africa as populations have been on a landslide for the past 30 years and many species are at risk of extinction in the near future. For the first time, Champions is joining forces with an African Birdlife partner – Nature Kenya. Visit Champions of the Flyway for more information, or to sponsor one of the 23 teams racing for conservation in 2019. Among them, Canada’s first and only team, The Canucks (pseudonym for Anous), are joining this incredible effort. Follow along on social media through #COTF19, #FlywayChampions, #GoVultures, #LoveVultures, or #TeamCanucks!
Intertwined within the Bird Race component is a head to head Big Day competition like non-other. Despite being hailed as the world’s greatest and friendliest bird race on earth, we have found it surprisingly difficult to find decent intelligence about Strategy, Routes, Timelines, Past Attempts, Big Day Trip Reports, Big Day Magic, and Big Day Blunders.
We have therefore begun to compile a Repository of Champion’s of the Flyway Intelligence. Full disclosure: While we are seasoned Big Day aficionados, we have 0 COTF experience, so everything posted here is either stuff we’ve found, been given, or dug out of old shoe boxes. ENJOY.
The Canucks – Stu Mackenzie, Jody Allair, Yousif Attia, and Pete Davidson.