Please read the following and "Accept" at the bottom




Participation Rules for the 2018 Tahoe Big Year

  1. Participants must be registered on the Tahoe Big Year website (www.tahoebigyear.org). Registration can occur anytime between December 1st, 2017 and December 31st, 2018 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 (www.TINSweb.org). 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 2016. 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, 2018
    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, 2018.
    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.








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. Promote the welfare of birds and their environment.

1(a) Support the protection of important bird habitat.

1(b) To avoid stressing birds or exposing them to danger, exercise restraint and caution during observation, photography, sound recording, or filming.

Limit the use of recordings and other methods of attracting birds, and never use such methods in heavily birded areas, or for attracting any species that is Threatened, Endangered, or of Special Concern, or is rare in your local area.

Keep 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.

Use artificial light sparingly for filming or photography, especially for close-ups.

1(c) Before advertising the presence of a rare bird, evaluate the potential for disturbance to the bird, its surroundings, and other people in the area, and proceed only if access can be controlled, disturbance minimized, and permission has been obtained from private land-owners. The sites of rare nesting birds should be divulged only to the proper conservation authorities.

1(d) Stay on roads, trails, and paths where they exist; otherwise keep habitat disturbance to a minimum.


2. Respect the law, and the rights of others.

2(a) Do not enter private property without the owner's explicit permission.

2(b) Follow all laws, rules, and regulations governing use of roads and public areas, both at home and abroad.

2(c) Practice common courtesy in contacts with other people. Your exemplary behavior will generate goodwill with birders and non-birders alike.


3. Ensure that feeders, nest structures, and other artificial bird environments are safe.

3(a) Keep dispensers, water, and food clean, and free of decay or disease. It is important to feed birds continually during harsh weather.

3(b) Maintain and clean nest structures regularly.

3(c) If you are attracting birds to an area, ensure the birds are not exposed to predation from cats and other domestic animals, or dangers posed by artificial hazards.


4. Group birding, whether organized or impromptu, requires special care.

Each individual in the group, in addition to the obligations spelled out in Items #1 and #2, has responsibilities as a Group Member.

4(a) Respect the interests, rights, and skills of fellow birders, as well as people participating in other legitimate outdoor activities. Freely share your knowledge and experience, except where code 1(c) applies. Be especially helpful to beginning birders.

4(b) If you witness unethical birding behavior, assess the situation, and intervene if you think it prudent. When interceding, inform the person(s) of the inappropriate action, and attempt, within reason, to have it stopped. If the behavior continues, document it, and notify appropriate individuals or organizations.

Group Leader Responsibilities [amateur and professional trips and tours].

4(c) Be an exemplary ethical role model for the group. Teach through word and example.

4(d) Keep groups to a size that limits impact on the environment, and does not interfere with others using the same area.

4(e) Ensure everyone in the group knows of and practices this code.

4(f) Learn and inform the group of any special circumstances applicable to the areas being visited (e.g. no tape recorders allowed).

4(g) Acknowledge that professional tour companies bear a special responsibility to place the welfare of birds and the benefits of public knowledge ahead of the company's commercial interests. Ideally, leaders should keep track of tour sightings, document unusual occurrences, and submit records to appropriate organizations.


Please Follow this Code and Distribute and Teach it to Others

The American Birding Association's Code of Birding Ethics may be freely reproduced for distribution/dissemination. Please acknowledge the role of ABA in developing and promoting this code with a link to the ABA website using the url http://www.aba.org. Thank you.






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