Bird-a-thon May 11-12: Because Nature Needs our Focus
Michael P. O'Connor
LINCOLN, MA—Mass Audubon’s annual Bird-a-thon fundraiser will take place Friday and Saturday, May 11-12, when teams of birders of all abilities will compete to identify the most species statewide over a 24-hour period.
From that Friday evening at 6 until Saturday at 6 pm, more than two dozen teams will fan out across the Commonwealth, from sandy dunes and saltmarshes to broad fields and forested ridgelines, focusing their attention, binoculars, and scopes on birds both familiar and far less common.
Bird-a-thon takes place each year in May, when spring migration brings millions of birds back north and birders can observe species they typically do not see during the rest of the year.
Upwards of 750 people are expected to participate in Bird-a-thon, the biggest single fundraising event of the year for the state’s largest nature conservation nonprofit.
Team members raise essential funds for Mass Audubon wildlife sanctuaries and programs in honor of their marathon birding efforts. Supporters may donate to teams or to individual birders.
Not a birder? Not a problem! Bird-a-thon Boosters participate by fundraising for their favorite team. They may bird non-competitively, do their own nature-focused activity, or simply rally support.
Last year’s participants raised more than $230,000, the highest amount since the event began in 1983. Over the past 35 years, Bird-a-thon supporters have contributed more than $3 million in support of Mass Audubon’s mission to connect people and nature.
“Bird-a-thon offers Mass Audubon members, friends, and the broader public a perfect opportunity to connect with nature communally, by joining or supporting teams engaged in a friendly statewide bird-identification competition,” Mass Audubon President Gary Clayton said.
“Participants in our largest fundraising event directly support Mass Audubon’s commitment to land protection, nature-based education, and conservation advocacy at a time when the environment is facing great challenges,” Clayton added. “So we’re encouraging one and all to help make this the most successful Bird-a-thon ever.”
Sponsors this year include Presenting Sponsor, Camosse Masonry Supply of Worcester; Supporting Sponsor, A.R.E. Demolition & Excavation, Inc. of South Dartmouth; and Media Sponsor, public radio station WBUR of Boston.
Mass Audubon is the largest nature-based conservation organization in New England. Founded in 1896 by two women who fought for the protection of birds, Mass Audubon carries on their legacy by focusing on the greatest challenges facing the environment today: the loss of biodiversity, inequitable access to nature, and climate change. With the help of our 160,000 members and supporters, we protect wildlife, conserve and restore resilient land, advocate for impactful environmental policies, offer nationally recognized education programs for adults and children, and provide endless opportunities to experience the outdoors at our wildlife sanctuaries. Explore, find inspiration, and take action at www.massaudubon.org.