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Birdrace Competing to be the best twitcher

Which team of bird watchers and bird lovers can spot the most species of bird within 24 hours? That’s the aim of a sponsored “Bird Race”, which staged its 25th edition this year.

The most successful team this year racked up 134 different birds, but it could not crack the record of 137.

The 25 teams of bird watchers spent a day travelling dozens of kilometres, spotting and recording the rarest as well as the more common birds in Switzerland. Excitement and thrills are part and parcel of this event. But the physical exertion should not be underestimated as contestants are only allowed to use their own muscle power (on foot or by bicycle), and public transport, to get around.

In advance of the race, there is a search for sponsors to donate money towards the protection of each bird species spotted along the way. Money collected from the 25th Bird Race allows the Swiss Bird Protection Society (Bird Life) to fund a research project in the Grand Marais marshland area of the Bernese Seeland.

(Photos: Ruben Hollinger/13 Photo, Text: Gaby Ochsenbein/swissinfo.ch)