The 2023 PRAS Birdathon is right around the corner! What a fun way to gather your birding friends and spend a day looking for bird species! It is an exciting friendly competition and a way to give back to your community so we need lots of participants.
What is a traditional 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. There are 3 ways to participate:
1. Traditional Birdathon
2. Photography Birdathon
3. Single Birdathon location (feeder, yard, park)
You may simultaneously participate in all 3 (the traditional and/or photography and/or single location Birdathon sections).
Pick a day between March 31st and April 3rd. Between midnight 12:00 am to 11:59 pm find as many species as you can by sight or sound. Most birds are out in the day, but there are some night, dawn, and dusk species you may want to try to find.
Traditional Birdathon – Scour Charlotte County high and low to find as many species as you can. Teams may have up to four (4) people. At least 2 team members must see or hear each bird and the group may not separate.
Photography Birdathon – How many species can you photograph in Charlotte County during the 4 days? This is a solo competition not teams; however you can participate simultaneously while also doing the traditional or single location Birdathon. Photos don’t have to be good, just identifiable by the judges. There will however be 3 winners: (i) most species 24 hours; (ii) top 2 photos of the 4 days. For the later, each photographer may submit 2 photos in JPG format and they should not be enhanced. Cropping and lighting adjustments are ok but keep the enhancements minimal.
Single Location (Feeder, yard, park) – How many species can you see or hear for a single day in one location? If you don’t feel like running all over the county and want to count birds in your yard or favorite park, this is your chance! Single and/or team event.
How do I enter?
Send an email with your team name and members to Cathy at email@example.com and designate which type(s) 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 per specie), 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 the traditional Birdathon category, beginners typically see about 30 species, intermediate 75, and advanced 90+. Photography and backyard birds will of course see a lot fewer.
Designate which fund to support:
General, Pennington Park, Ron Mills Youth Camp Scholarship, College Scholarship
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.
What do I do at the end of the day?
Email firstname.lastname@example.org the list of birds you saw or photographed and the amount of funding you raised (if it is known). If you participate in the Photo Birdathon, email your 2 photos (see rules above).
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.
Want to participate in the fundraising but not compete?
Send Cathy an email email@example.com and she will tell you the teams who are competing. You can select a team and decide how much you would like to contribute.
So What Is A Birdathon Anyway?
Our 1st annual Birdathon, organized by George Marks, was held on April 21, 2002. The Charlotte Birdathon is an opportunity to have fun with friends, challenge yourself, and to raise money for a good cause. One day each spring PRAS members and others interested birders survey the countryside and coastal areas of Charlotte County in teams finding as many different species of wild birds as possible. This fund raising event is reminiscent of a walkathon but instead of walking, participants are birding or photographing birds. See RULES for details.
Prior to the big day, participants look for sponsors. Sponsors are any individual or organization who would like to pledge an amount such as 10¢ per bird species identified or a fixed amount of $20 or whatever amount the donor chooses.
You can join in the fun by forming a team of friends, picking a name, and scouring the county on bird day. Also, please find a few individuals or businesses to sponsor to your team. If you can’t be there on the big day, join us by pledging a contribution.
If you would like to participate either by making a pledge or by joining us that day, please email the Birdathon Coordinator.
After the big day, teams will collect the money from their sponsors, and turn it in to the Birdathon coordinator no later than the next PRAS meeting in April. The “per species” amount pledged will be calculated on the total bird species seen by individual teams during the Birdathon. For past results click here.
Where Does the Money Raised Go?
Here is your opportunity to enjoy the excitement of participating in a Birdathon and make a difference by supporting worthy causes. Understanding through education is the key to developing a love and life-long appreciation of our valuable natural resources. You can help our young people gain that appreciation.
Birdathon News & Results