Because Nature Needs Our Focus: Bird-a-thon Is May 12-13!

Release Date:
April 25, 2017

LINCOLN, MA—Bird-a-thon, Mass Audubon’s biggest annual fundraiser, takes place from 6 pm Friday, May 12 to 6 pm Saturday, May 13, when teams of birders will compete to identify the most species over a 24-hour period.

Hundreds of competitors comprising 24 teams will focus their binoculars and scopes on birds they spot from the Cape and Islands to the Berkshires. Participants in this fun and friendly competition, representing all levels of birding experience, have gathered pledges and donations in support of Mass Audubon’s mission to protect the nature of Massachusetts for people and wildlife.

For more than three decades, thousands of birding team members and other Bird-a-thon supporters have raised more than $2 million ($215,000 last year alone) for Mass Audubon, Massachusetts' largest nature conservation nonprofit.

The bird identification marathon attracts participants of all ages and abilities, including families and young people, as well as longtime veterans of the competition and others for whom birding is a serious avocation.

For 2017, Bird-a-thon is introducing the County Cup, which allows birding teams to concentrate all or some of their focus (both figuratively and literally) on a single county within the Commonwealth. The new competitive option not only serves to celebrate the abundance and diversity of bird species in a single county, but also offers an option to participants who prefer less travel time.

Roaming the Bay State’s spectacular landscapes and coastal areas in search of hard-to-find species is not the only way to be part of this popular competition. You may donate to a birder or team, or become a “Bird-a-thon Booster” and support a team by creating an online fundraising page or by raising funds offline.

“As Mass Audubon’s largest fundraising event, Bird-a-thon provides crucial support for our wildlife sanctuaries and educational programs, conservation of vulnerable land, and environmental advocacy,” President Gary Clayton said.  

“And at a time of increased uncertainty regarding protection of clean air and water and other natural resources, Mass Audubon’s mission to protect the nature of Massachusetts has never been more important,” Clayton stressed. “Which is why we’re hoping that this will be a banner year for Bird-a-thon, both in participation and generosity.”

Sponsors this year include AmeriPride and Standard Auto.

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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.