Bird-a-thon Set for Friday And Saturday, May 10-11: Join A Team!
Michael P. O'Connor
LINCOLN, MA—On your mark. Get set. Go identify that bird! Mass Audubon’s annual Bird-a-thon fundraiser will take place Friday and Saturday, May 10-11, when hundreds of birders of all abilities will compete to ID the most species statewide over a 24-hour period.
From that Friday evening at 6 pm until Saturday at 6 pm, two dozen teams will fan out across the Commonwealth, from sandy dunes and saltmarshes to fields, riversides, and forested ridgelines. They will be focusing their attention, binoculars, and scopes on birds both familiar and far less common.
Bird-a-thon take place in the midst of the spring migration, when millions of birds are returning to Massachusetts to breed and raise young, or stopping to rest and feed in the Bay State before continuing farther north. During this opportune period, birders can observe species they typically do not see during the rest of the year.
More than 800 people are expected to participate in Bird-a-thon, the biggest single fundraising event of the year for Mass Audubon, the state’s largest nature conservation nonprofit.
Team members raise crucial funds for the respected conservation organization’s sanctuaries and programs, in honor of the competitors’ 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 teams. Boosters may bird non-competitively, do their own nature-focused activity, or simply rally support for those spending long hours in the field.
Last year’s participants raised more than $255,000—the highest amount since the event began in 1983—and identified 275 species, the most ever recorded. Over the past 36 years, Bird-a-thon supporters have contributed more than $3 million in support of Mass Audubon’s mission to connect people and nature.
“Competing in Bird-a-thon is a perfect way to welcome the spring migration and appreciate the Bay State outdoors, and for friends and families to connect with the natural world,” Mass Audubon President Gary Clayton said.
“As our largest fundraising event, this fun competition encourages participants to help protect the nature of Massachusetts, both individually and as teams,” Clayton noted. “We are also continually inspired by the generosity that directly supports Mass Audubon’s important work in land protection, nature-based education, advocacy, and responding to climate change.”
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.