The 2021 PRAS Birdathon is right around the corner! This is one of PRAS’s biggest annual fundraisers so we need lots of participants. What is a birdathon you ask? The general idea is similar to a walkathon but instead of earning money for miles walked, you earn for the number of bird species you can identify within 24 hours. To make it more exciting, this year we have expanded the number of categories.
Traditional birdathon (with Covid restrictions)
Feeder, yard, or park birdathon
On May 1, 2021 (12:00 am to 11:59 pm) find as many species as you can. These can be by sight or sound (except for the photography category of course). Most people predominantly bird during daylight hours only but there are certainly some night, dawn, and dusk species you may want to try to find.
Scour 1 county high and low to find as many species throughout the county as you can.
Due to COVID, we are expanding this beyond Charlotte County so that our members both near and far can participate. So you may bird in any county, in any state or province, but you must stay in 1 county. Teams may have 1 or 2 people. If you have 2, both members of the team must see or hear the bird and they may not separate from one another. You may not have an additional driver or an additional spotter. Both should already be in the same “Covid pod”.
How many species can you photograph on May 1? The rules are the same as the traditional birdathon except this is a solo competition. The photos don’t have to be good, but they do need to be identifiable by a team of judges. However, in addition to a winner for the most birds photographed, there will also be winners for the top 2 photos of the day. Each photographer may submit 2 photos to be judged for the top photos of the day. Photos should be in JPG format and should not be enhanced. Cropping and lighting adjustments are ok but keep the enhancements minimal.
Feeder, yard, or park Birdathon
How many species can you see and hear on May 1 in one location? If you don’t feel like running all over the county/province and want to count birds in your yard or park, this is your chance! The rules are the same as the traditional birdathon except this is a solo competition.
How do I enter?
Send an email with your team name and members to Cathy at Birdathon1@peaceriverAudubon.org and designate which type of birdathon you will be doing.
How do you solicit donations?
Before the big day, find sponsors. This is not just a really fun day but is also a fundraiser for PRAS. Participation is free, but since this is a PRAS fundraiser we would appreciate it if you would solicit donations. Sponsors may donate a set amount (e.g. $25 or $100) or an amount per species identified (e.g. 50 cents or $1), which really is the essence of the challenge. Of course the number of birds you will see greatly depends on which category and which location. In Florida in the traditional birdathon category, beginners will typically see about 30 species, intermediate 75 species, and advanced 90-120 species. Photography and backyard birds will of course see a lot fewer.
For what will your donations be used?
Each team may choose which PRAS activity they would like to support (more than 1 is ok). Examples include: PRAS college scholarship fund, youth environmental education fund, PRAS’s annual contribution to CHEC (Charlotte Harbor Education Center; PRAS is one of the 4 corporate members of CHEC), beautification and maintenance of Audubon Pennington Park, PRAS general fund etc.
What do I do at the end of the day?
Email Cathy <Birdathon1@peaceriverAudubon.org> the list of birds you saw or photographed and the amount of funding you raised (if it is known). If you participated in the photo birdathon, also email your 2 photos (see rules above).
For participants in the other categories, other photos of your day would be appreciated and will be included on the PRAS website.
As everyone is doing this on their own, all identifications and “identifiable” photos are on your honor. We assume you will be honest and not inflate your numbers. While there is a bit of competition in this event, it should mostly be fun. Many people enjoy competing against themselves by comparing their totals from year to year.
And the winners?
Winners in each category will be selected based on (A) number of species seen and (B) funding raised. Winners and top photos will be announced on the PRAS website. There are no prizes, just the satisfaction that you are helping PRAS raise funds and having a lot of fun in the process.
Do you want to participate in the fundraising but don’t want to compete?
Send Cathy an email <Birdathon1@peaceriverAudubon.org> and she will tell you the teams who are competing. You can select a team and decide how much you would like to contribute.