Annual Bird-a-thon Fundraiser Set For May 15-16
Michael P. O'Connor
LINCOLN, MA—Bird-a-thon, Mass Audubon’s friendly competition to financially support conservation across the Commonwealth, is again expected to engage hundreds of enthusiasts in an all-night/all-day bird identification marathon, May 15-16.
The statewide contest challenges teams of birders of all abilities to identify the most species in 24 hours—this year from 6 pm on Friday evening, May 15, to 5:59 pm on Saturday, the 16th.
Bird-a-thon has grown to become Mass Audubon’s single largest annual fundraising event, attracting thousands of supporters and raising more than $2 million since the competition began in 1983 with a mere handful of participants.
In 2014, 800-plus people comprised 29 teams that traversed the state, from Berkshire forests and suburban backyards to meandering brooks and beaches stretching for miles. Last year, 270 species were identified either by sight or ear.
Proceeds support the respected conservation leader’s statewide network of wildlife sanctuaries and the programs they offer to help people engage with the natural world.
People who can’t compete in the field may still participate in various ways, including as “Bird-a-thon Boosters” to support teams or individuals by fundraising. Last year, hundreds of individuals participated by fundraising for their favorite sanctuary or program from the comfort of their own homes.
“For more than three decades, Bird-a-thon has encouraged participants of all ages and experience to celebrate birdlife and connect with nature,” Mass Audubon President Henry Tepper said. “Spending time in the field with family and friends, with binoculars and bird scopes, reminds everyone how crucial natural habitats are to our environment and how important a healthy environment is—for birds and people alike.
“And after such a long, tough winter,” Tepper added, “we’re expecting an especially enthusiastic turnout May 15 and 16 for this most important fundraiser. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
To learn more about Bird-a-thon, including how to participate or donate, go to www.massaudubon.org/birdathon.
Mass Audubon protects 36,500 acres of land throughout Massachusetts, saving birds and other wildlife, and making nature accessible to all. As Massachusetts’ largest nature conservation nonprofit, we welcome more than a half million visitors a year to our wildlife sanctuaries and 20 nature centers. From inspiring hilltop views to breathtaking coastal landscapes, serene woods, and working farms, we believe in protecting our state’s natural treasures for wildlife and for all people—a vision shared in 1896 by our founders, two extraordinary Boston women. Today, Mass Audubon is a nationally recognized environmental education leader, offering thousands of camp, school, and adult programs that get over 225,000 kids and adults outdoors every year. With more than 125,000 members and supporters, we advocate on Beacon Hill and beyond, and conduct conservation research to preserve the natural heritage of our beautiful state for today’s and future generations. We welcome you to explore a nearby sanctuary, find inspiration, and get involved. Learn how at massaudubon.org.