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.
The sweet, slurred song of an Eastern Meadowlark—often fittingly rendered as “spring of the year, spring of the year”—heralds the long-awaited arrival of spring for us northerners. The return of meadowlarks to our fields and pastures ushers us back outdoors, sparking our energy, reawakening our senses, and stirring our souls.
Here at VCE, the crescendo of our own spring chorus is Birdathon, a dawn-til-dusk birding extravaganza to find as many avian resident and migrant species as we possibly can. We eagerly anticipate this annual event, which has become VCE’s signature fundraiser, bringing in much needed support for our conservation science programs and adding invaluable observational data on Vermont’s birdlife. Plus, need I mention how much fun it is for all of us?
Please contribute today to make Birdathon 2022 on May 19 the most successful yet!
Eastern Meadowlark could not be a more appropriate flagship for VCE’s 2022 Birdathon. The species’ distinctive song and striking plumage belie its dwindling numbers as a breeding denizen of Vermont’s grasslands. Recently listed as state-threatened, meadowlarks increasingly need our help. Now a focal species in VCE’s wildlife research portfolio, our community science efforts to monitor the statewide population, identify its issues, and understand its conservation needs are critical to inform effective strategies for recovery. Data collected during Birdathon will add vital information to our efforts.
VCE’s staff team, the Green Mountain Goatsuckers, is eager to foray out in small groups across the state during Birdathon, seeking meadowlarks and any other species we can find. Last year, the Goatsuckers identified 119 species, and we’re expecting to beat that count this year. We’ll issue a few live updates during the day, too—as long as our routes cross paths with a cell tower or two, that is! Follow #vtbirdathon to stay in the know.
Here’s how to participate in Birdathon:
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.
Here’s how you can help:
- Make your tax-deductible donation right now online.
- Donate by check, payable to: Vermont Center for Ecostudies, PO Box 420, Norwich, VT 05055
- Pledge per bird species, per birder, whatever you like! Use our handy form.
- Collect pledges for your own (or your team) Birdathon 2022 efforts. We’ve got all the details here. If you collect at least $100 in pledges, you’ll earn a VCE Birdathon 2022 T-shirt!
After Birdathon day, we’ll tally up our species count and share a few highlights—there are bound to be some unforgettable (mis)adventures and avian surprises!
Every dollar you give and checklist you submit furthers VCE’s research and on-the-ground efforts to conserve biodiversity across the Americas. Your support will also help keep Eastern Meadowlarks singing in Vermont and across the Northeast. 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? Your gift or pledge is a commitment to science-based wildlife conservation and a vital source of support for VCE.
Thanks in advance for participating in Birdathon 2022!