The Isle of Man Christmas Bird Race is back for 2023!

The annual Isle of Man Christmas Bird Race is back for another year and Manx BirdLife hopes it will be the biggest yet.

Running from Christmas Day until New Year’s Eve, the aim of the ‘race’ is to record as many wild bird species as possible across the Island. It’s not just for the dedicated birdwatchers though, the challenge is open to all regardless of ability or age and is a great excuse to get for some fresh air during the festive season.

To take part, the rules are simple:
- You can spend as little or as much time as you wish looking for birds on, above and around the Island within Manx territorial waters;
- You can go alone or with friends and family (get them out away from the mince pies!)
- Sightings must be made in the 7-day period from Christmas Day to New Year’s Eve inclusive (i.e. 00:01 on 25th December to 23:59 on 31st December);

Then all you have to do is submit your sightings, which is easy to do:
• Online via
• Twitter using hashtag #ManxBirdRace
• Facebook
• By completing and returning the downloadable recording card

For all observations, please send your name, date, location (including OS Grid Ref. if you know it), what you saw (species, how many) and any interesting aspects of what you saw.

The Manx BirdLife website will be updated daily so you can check what species have been recorded this year.

Although primarily a light-hearted event, the Christmas Bird Race provides an interesting spot check on the diversity of birds wintering on and around the Isle of Man. Each winter is different due to weather conditions and there are always surprises. The number of species has increased over the last few years and in 2022, a record 120 bird species were recorded with Black Tailed Godwit being added to the already impressive list for the first time.  Maybe this year will be even better…....


Tree Sparrow Sightings
While all sightings are valuable, this year any sightings of Tree Sparrows during the Christmas Bird Race are particularly welcome.
This small, chestnut brown bird is smaller than the House Sparrow and much less common.
Usually associated with farmland, the Tree Sparrow is in decline across the Island so do keep an eye out for them as you take part and report your sightings to MWT Farmland Bird Officer Rob Fisher at