Mass Audubon's Statewide Bird-a-thon Returns for its 40th Year May 12-13

Release Date:
April 28, 2023


LINCOLN, MA—Birding enthusiasts of all backgrounds and abilities will spend a whirlwind 24 hours trying to see who can spot the most species of feathered friends, as Mass Audubon’s annual Bird-a-thon, a popular statewide bird identification competition and nature celebration, marks its 40th year on May 12-13.

The birding marathon, which will run for 24 hours from 6 pm Friday evening May 12 to 6 pm the next day, is an annual tradition and the biggest single fundraiser for Mass Audubon, the state’s largest nature-based conservation organization.

Last year, participants and their supporters raised $305,000 for Mass Audubon’s wildlife sanctuaries and programs and recorded 254 bird species. The event, which began in 1983 with just a handful of enthusiasts, has now attracted tens of thousands of people and brought in nearly $4 million to advance the organization’s mission to connect people and nature.

This year, 13 teams representing Mass Audubon departments and regions across the Commonwealth will compete head-to-head by attempting to raise the most funds and to identify the greatest number of bird species in 24 hours.

Participation is open to all, and people can join a team by registering on the Bird-a-thon website and choosing whether they plan to competitively or casually bird and taking part in family friendly nature activities. Those joining teams raise money for their team’s region or department.

The event brings together birders, outdoor enthusiasts, and families to celebrate nature and raise funds that provide essential year-round support for Mass Audubon, an organization of 160,000 members with a network of more than 60 wildlife sanctuaries located throughout the Commonwealth, from Cape Cod and the Islands to the Berkshires.

Chief Development Officer Victoria Jones said, “Each spring, Bird-a-thon provides a friendly competition and a community builder for hundreds of like-minded people who love wildlife and the outdoors. It also serves as an unofficial ‘welcome back!’ to millions of birds during the height of spring migration.

“More importantly, the money raised by Bird-a-thoners provides crucial support for Mass Audubon’s enduring commitment to broad biodiversity and land conservation, nature-based education, and environmental advocacy,” Jones noted. “And with climate action threading through every aspect of our organization’s work, that support has never been more important.”

Mass Audubon is grateful to its sponsors: Camosse Masonry Supply (lead sponsor), Wild Birds Unlimited and the Alvarium Foundation (supporting sponsors), and MetLife and Ward’s Nursery (community sponsors).


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