• Make Your Pledge Today!

    In mid-May, around the peak of spring migration, birdwatchers and naturalists across Vermont will set out with more determination (and coffee) than usual. It's Birdathon time! In a one-day blitz, these folks will raise funds to support VCE's wildlife and habitat conservation projects.

    Signs of seasonal renewal are emerging daily, reassuring us that, despite our human struggles, the natural world’s ebb and flow continue apace. For all of us at VCE, anticipation of spring migration signals another cherished annual event–Birdathon!

    This year, like last, the pandemic requires us to limit gatherings and travel, so VCE’s dedicated staff team, the Green Mountain Goatsuckers, will again stick close to home–and we invite you to join us from your neck of the woods. With luck and good weather, our backyards and neighborhoods will yield an impressive diversity of species.

    Our mission: eclipse last year’s single-day Vermont record of 178 species and 724 Vermont eBird checklists submitted by 305 birders, and raise $50,000 (or more) to support VCE’s conservation work. Let’s aim for the stars this spring with 200 species and 1,000 checklists from 325 birders! To accomplish these ambitious goals, we will surely need your help.

    Will you join us for Backyard Bird Quest 2021 on May 22nd?

    You’ve doubtless heard that North America has lost nearly 3 billion birds since 1970, an alarming 30% of our continent’s bird population. This staggering decline was documented by analyzing nearly 50 years of avian count data dutifully collected by researchers, community scientists, and avid birders. Every bird observation recorded truly does count!

    We birdwatch primarily because of our passion and for the joy of discovery, but we record our sightings both to create memories and to document biodiversity, knowing that our efforts provide invaluable data for conservation.

    A male Bobolink in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. © Charles Gangas

    Ruby-throated Hummingbird in flight / © Michael Sargent

    Ruby-throated Hummingbird in flight © Michael Sargent

    Here’s how it works:

    First, decide where you’d like to spend your time birding. Second, count all the bird species you see or hear within a 24-hour period (or however long you like). Third, submit your lists as Vermont eBird checklists. That’s it! Count birds, have fun, and learn more about the natural world along the way. While birds are the focus of this fundraiser, you could sharpen your conservation multitasking skills by also logging your observations of other life forms through the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist and eButterfly – but only bird species submitted to Vermont eBird will be counted for the final species tally.

    Backyard Bird Quest 2021 is fun for the whole family! / © Susan Hindinger

    Black-throated Blue Warbler © K.P. McFarland

    Here’s how you can help even more:

    Sponsor VCE’s Green Mountain Goatsuckers staff team with a contribution.

    After the big day we’ll tally up the species and share a few tales from our participants–there are bound to be some memorable (mis)adventures and avian surprises!

    Your participation in and generous sponsorship of Backyard Bird Quest 2021 supports VCE’s innovative wildlife conservation and community outreach projects. Be sure to visit our Volunteer page and subscribe to our monthly eNews for the latest on VCE projects and to learn about other opportunities to participate in our work.

    Can we count on your generous contribution? Yours is a pledge for science-based wildlife conservation across the Americas and a vital source of support for VCE.

    Thanks in advance for joining us, and bring on spring migration!