TBY FAQs

  • If I am not a member of the Tahoe Institute for Natural Science, can I participate in the Tahoe Big Year?

    Yes, anyone is welcome to participate in the Tahoe Big Year and may register to track their sightings for free. However, to be eligible to win prizes, have your name displayed on the leader board, receive discounts from partners, and participate in focused outings, one needs to be a member, in good standing, of the Tahoe Institute for Natural Science.

  • My child wants to participate and I am a member. Do they need their own membership in order to be eligible for the prizes?

    Children are eligible for the prizes if they have their own membership or if their family has a family level or higher membership with the Tahoe Institute for Natural Science.

  • Are Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows within the boundaries?

    Yes, any area at Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows that is east of the Pacific Crest Trail are within the boundaries.

  • Is Tahoe Meadows and the Mount Rose Trail in within the boundaries?

    Tahoe Meadows and the Mount Rose Trail that connects with Relay Peak Road are within the boundaries. The part of the Mount Rose Trail that goes to the north and out of sight of Lake Tahoe is outside of the boundaries.

  • What happens if I find a rare bird?

    Submissions of rare species may prompt the site to ask for follow up information. In many cases, the site will simply ask you if you are certain of the identification, in which case you can check a box to allow the submission to go through. In other cases we may request supporting documentation of the sighting. The prompt will provide more information at that time, and we will manually add the species for you if the documentation sufficiently supports the record.

  • Note that we will do our best to streamline this process and make adjustments to the seasonal classifications as the Tahoe Big Year progresses. Documenting rarities is great practice for honing your birding skills, but we do apologize for the inconvenience. We don't wish to act as the gatekeepers for your birding, but we do want to ensure that the competition is as fair and accurate as possible. Lastly, your records of rarities will greatly advance our understanding of their distribution in the Tahoe region. We greatly appreciate your contributions towards that end.

  • Do I have to submit new species immediately?

    We recommend that you submit any new species soon after the initial sighting to avoid potentially triggering a rare bird prompt for out-of-season species.


  • I accidentally added a bird I didn't mean to. How do I remove it from my list?

    Simply go to "My Birds," click the box next to any unwanted species, and then scroll all the way down to the "Remove Birds" button.