On 24 October 2009 South African bird photographers set out to snap 350 species of wild birds in 24 hours – and quickly get the pictures up on the internet – to raise awareness of our extraordinary bird diversity and the danger of climate change.
The 350 – 24 – 24 Bird Photo Challenge achieved its goal and a little more: by the end of the day 365 species had been captured in pixels by more than 170 photographers (click here for the full list). The first 350 species are pictured in the main mosaic gallery below. More bird and photographer pictures can be seen in other galleries on this site.
We picked 350 as the target number of species because 350 parts per million represents the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere above which dangerous climate change becomes very likely, see here. October 24 witnessed an unprecedented International Day of Climate Action organised by 350.org, an innovative internet-based organisation, and the Challenge was one of over 5 000 climate awareness events held in over 180 countries on that day.
We'd like to thank all the photographers for their overwhelming response and the team of volunteers who worked through many nights to get these images on the web. For a behind-the-scenes peek at the action, click here.
Since the Challenge was planned and pulled off in an extremely short time (less than 3 weeks from concept to completion) by volunteers, the process was slightly chaotic. Extra bird pictures can be found in the overflow mosaic gallery; please enjoy the homemade-ness of that secondary display, as we have not yet had time to tidy it up.
All those who contributed images are welcome to send us one last photograph, this time of themselves, if possible in action on that fateful Saturday, and we will post them on the photographer mosaic gallery. We'll be off to Madagascar very soon though, so if you'd like them posted soon, please send them by 14h00 on Thursday 29 October with full caption information in the body of the email to email@example.com (photos received after this time will likely only be posted by the end of November)
The 350 team