What is a Bird-a-thon?
Bird-a-thon is an Audubon effort to raise awareness of our amazing bird life here in Virginia and to raise funds to support many of our local conservation and education projects. It’s a 24-hour birding foray, usually undergone in May, that’s undertaken by a team of birders to identify all the birds they can by sight and/or sound. The Richmond chapter of the Audubon Society participates in this fundraising even by collecting pledges and subsequent donations from team sponsors to support RAS projects.
Can I form a team?
Of course, please do! All RAS members are encouraged to form a team and join in the fun. There is no set size for a team; if you just want to solicit pledges and go birding on your own, feel free to do so! Teams are typically composed of 4 to 6 people. To register your team or report your results, e-mail email@example.com.
Where can I bird? And when?
Find as many species you can within the state of Virginia. Plan your route, choose any 24 hour period during the month of May, and go find as many birds as you can!
Where Does My Money GO?
Richmond Audubon supports local and regional conservation and education projects with Bird-a-thon funds each year. This year, Bird-a-thon proceeds will benefit Richmond Audubon’s outreach and conservation programs, including:
- RAS Kids youth outreach program
- James River Park System
- MAPS banding stations
- Prothonotary Warbler nest box banding project
- Lower James River IBA, including Presquile and James River National Wildlife refuges
In the past, RAS has funded:
- Presquile National Wildlife Refuge: Trail development and habitat restoration.
- James River Parks: Interpretive sign at the Wetlands entrance to the park including a trail map and a list of plants and wildlife you might see
- A panel display on the Floodwall walk overlooking the James River identifying common waterfowl.
How do I raise money?
- Get pledges based on a per species amount (eBird lists 141 species reported along the James near Richmond during the month of May. Seeing 100 species in a day should be feasible. $0.15 per species would amount to a $15 donation if you see a hundred species.) or a TOTAL dollar amount (suggest a $25.00 pledge?).
- Start by sponsoring yourself for $0.15 per species or a flat $25.00. Pledge Form (PDF)
- Ask 5 co-workers to contribute.
- Ask a community organization to sponsor Bird-a-thon for $50.00
- Ask 2 small businesses, especially the ones where you shop, to sponsor you for $50.00. We will list commercial sponsors of the Bird-a-thon in the next Thrasher.
• All checks should be made out to Richmond Audubon Society.
- Use this suggested script or come up with your own “ask”: “Hi (name of person), this is (insert your name) calling. How are you? I’m calling to ask if you could sponsor the Richmond Audubon Society Bird-a-thon, which will be held throughout May 2012. The Bird-a-thon is held each year to support Richmond Audubon Conservation and Education Projects. [Past projects of include: signage and bird boxes in the James River Park, projects for the Lower James River Important Bird Area (Richmond Audubon’s Adopted IBA) including wildlife surveys and habitat restoration projects on Presquile National Wildlife Refuge.] I hope that you can make a pledge of $ (insert an amount you’re comfortable with here) to support local conservation. Thank you for your consideration!”
- Send your list of birds sighted, pledge sheets and any checks (payable to the Richmond Audubon Society) given directly to you to Bird-a-thon Coordinator: Richmond Audubon Society • Attn: Bird-a-thon Coordinator • PO Box 26648 • Richmond, VA 23261
Contact and Questions
For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.