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 protects more than 38,000 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's 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 135,000 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 www.massaudubon.org.