Birdathon / Bloomathon Fundraiser

Event Date: May 20, 2017

With the coming of spring each year, New Hampshire’s landscape is once again graced by lovely wildflowers and colorful singing birds. It is a wonderful time to get out and enjoy these natural wonders, and at the same time do something to help protect them.

Photo by Jen Esten

Photo by Jen Esten

Outdoor Exploration with an Added Purpose

NH Audubon’s annual Birdathon/Bloomathon is an event designed to raise awareness and funds that are used for research, education, land protection and advocacy through our centers, chapters and programs. By getting outside, searching for birds and/or flowers, and soliciting pledges to support NHA’s work, participants are able to enjoy outdoor exploration, connect with others who appreciate the natural world and contribute to NHA’s conservation work.

Funds raised through this event will benefit NH Audubon as a whole and a Chapter, Center or Program chosen by each Field Team.

This event is a way for birders to contribute sightings of ‘conservation species’ to NH Audubon and to contribute records of birds from all parts of the state in a single day through NH E-bird. This helps provide a look into the changes of our state’s birdlife over time. Information about plant blooms may contribute to phenology data as we explore ways that organisms respond to the changing climate.

Everyone can Join the Fun

Experts and beginners can participate; adults and children; anyone can be part of a team, or support one.

Join a team and try to see as many species of birds and/or wildflowers as possible within a single day in whatever New Hampshire location you choose. Several of NH Audubon’s Chapters, Centers, and Programs are organizing teams, including expert-led field trips (see Field Trip tab, above) that welcome beginners.

There’s no registration fee. Participants are strongly encouraged to seek pledges from friends, co-workers, family members, local businesses, etc. Electronic fund raising through FirstGiving makes it easy to contribute and acquire donations.

Ways to Participate

  • Form a team with friends (2-6 participants/team) or join a Chapter or Center group
  • Register your team with the B/B Coordinator, Ruth Smith (see Registration tab, above)
  • Pledge to support your favorite branch of NH Audubon (see Team tab, above)
  • Travel across the state, focus on a favorite local spot or NH Audubon Sanctuary
  • Spend the morning or search for 24 hours straight
  • Get outside in search of birds and blooms!
  • Help NH Audubon protect the places and wildlife you care about.

Registration deadline (to be entered in the contests) May 17. Early registration is recommended to enhance coordination and fund raising capacity.

Click the Registration Tab, above, to learn how to register.

Prizes will be awarded to category winners and those who raise the most in pledges (see Tab tab, above, for award categories). Participation in the Birdathon/Bloomathon means that everyone wins – including the birds and plants!

Thanks to the businesses which are providing support and prizes:

Blue Seed Feeds, Nikon Optics

The Rules

It’s easy to participate in Birdathon/Bloomathon! There’s no registration fee, just an expectation that individuals collect pledges as a way to involve an even greater audience in this event… even those who stay indoors. Donations and pledges come from friends, co-workers, family members, Facebook, local businesses, etc.

  • Form a team with friends (2-6 participants/team) or join a Chapter or Center group
  • Set goals: for example, aim for a big day of 100 bird species or 10 new plants you’ve never seen
  • Sign up pledges to support your Chapter, Center, or area of interest
  • Set up an on-line donation page at First Giving
  • Travel across the state or focus on a favorite local spot or NH Audubon Sanctuary
  • Spend a few hours in the field – or search for 24 hours straight!

Prizes will be awarded to category winners and to those who raise the most in pledges. Participation in the Birdathon/Bloomathon means that everyone wins – including the birds and plants!

Prizes

All teams and trips must register with the Birdathon/Bloomathon Coordinator. In order to qualify for awards, teams must follow the competition guidelines (see  Rules tab, above). Non-competitive teams (ex: chapter field trips and larger teams) are also welcome to participate but are not eligible for prizes. Prizes will be awarded based on:

  • the highest number of bird species observed (The Big Day Award)
  • the highest number of blooming plant species observed (The Flower Power Award)
  • the highest number of combined species (The Conservation Award)
  • the most money raised (The Big Green Award)
  • the most bird or bloom species observed at one location (The Big Perch Award)
  • the most bird or bloom species raised without using fossil fuel (Human Powered Award)
  • the most bird or bloom species observed by a beginner or first time participant (The Fledgling Award)

There will be a wrap up of results, sharing time, award ceremony and supper on Sunday, May 21 from 4:00-6:00 pm at the McLane Center in Concord. Mark your calendar and come share your stories (or claim your prize!).

Field Checklists

Download the 2017 Birdathon/Bloomathon Checklist

PC users can click the right mouse button and select, “Save Link As” from the menu to download the PDF file.

2017 Birdathon/Bloomathon Field Trips

Several Audubon Chapters and Centers will be hosting field trips to enable broader participation in the annual Birdathon/Bloomathon event. If you are a new birder/botanizer or would prefer to go with a group rather than form your own team, see the options below. We encourage field trip participants to gather donations as well. Use First Giving for on-line donations, or gather in-person pledges.

The species lists from field trips will not qualify as part of the competition, but individual fund raising efforts, even if you are part of a larger team are eligible for prizes. All trips will take place on Saturday, May 20 unless otherwise noted.

 Capital Chapter

 Elm Brook Park, SUNDAY, May 21

Meet Jane Hills at the entrance to Elm Brook Park in Hopkinton at 7:00 a.m. and spend the morning looking for spring migrants. Don’t miss your chance to walk down legendary “Dendroica Alley” and fill your bins with spring warblers! An entrance fee to the park may be charged, so bring a few dollars. jhbird@myfairpoint.net, (625-8332) Birdathon/Bloomathon donations collected will support the Capital Chapter.

Massabesic Center

Birds and Blooms at Massabesic

Take a walk from 9:00-10:30 with volunteer Pete McVay, to enjoy and identify various bird species in the area.  From 11:30-12:30 join Program Naturalist Angie Krysiak for a wild edible and wildflower walk to see what plants are in bloom.  Both programs are good for beginners as well as seasoned observers and can be done individually or as a package. Fee: $7M/$9NM per program or $10M/$15 for both programs.

Monadnock Region

Stoddard conservation land with Francie Von Mertens and Meade Cadot

Explore a mix of habitats and search for birds and blooms in the large block of conserved land in the Robb Reservoir area in Stoddard. 8:00 a.m.-12 noon. Co-sponsored by the Harris Center for Conservation. Meet at the junction of Rte. 123 and Rte. 9, from the Hancock direction. Contact Francie Von Mertens: vonmertens@myfairpoint.net. Donations will support the Raptor Observatories.

Explore Surry with Dave Hoitt and Wendy Ward on SUNDAY, May 21

Tally birds and blooms found in the open fields and wetland habitats along this easy walk in Surry. Meet at the Surry Town Hall parking lot at 7:00 a.m. The trip should end by noon. Bring field guides, binoculars, drink, snacks, and be prepared for bugs. For more information email Wendy at weward0@yahoo.com or call Dave at 603-352-0987. Donations will support the Raptor Observatories.

Nashaway Region

Ponemah Bog Wildlife Sanctuary Field Trip

Jack Gleason, Ponemah Bog Sanctuary Steward, will lead a walk from 9-11 a.m. focused on bog plants including blooms such as rhodora azaleas and bog cotton. Donations will go towards supporting Wildlife Sanctuaries. For more information contact Jack at 673-3177 or westonpond10@gmail.com

Pemigewasset Chapter and Newfound Center

Hebron Habitats with Mavis Brittelli

The small, charming, town of Hebron includes a wide array of forests, fields, wetlands and lake shore which provide habitat to a wide range of birds and blooms.  Hundreds of acres of protected land include three Audubon properties (Ash Cottage, Paradise Point Nature Center and Bear Mountain), the Hebron Town Forest and other areas around the north end of Newfound Lake. Contact Mavis Brittelli at mavisgr@att.net  for details about this trip.  Last year the Hebron Cuckoos observed the most wildflowers (66) and the largest combined (birds and blooms) list (126). Please join us to defend our title and have a great day and raise funds to support the NH Audubon’s Newfound Center

Check back for new field trip offerings and updates.

Teams

Support your Favorite Team

Don’t worry if you can’t get out as an observer. You can still join the fun and support your favorite team. In addition to members and volunteers, the NH Audubon staff will be out beating the bushes to tally as many species as we can.  Join our friendly rivalry and help your favorite center or department come out on top as we challenge each other for the most observations and the most donations.  Ultimately we all win as the funds help us meet our broader mission of protecting NH’s natural environment for wildlife and for people. If you can’t decide which team to support, you can still donate to the event by clicking here.

Pledge to:

Doug Bechtel’s Presidential Primaries raising funds for NH Audubon

Phil Brown’s Sanctuary Bog Suckers raising funds for the Sanctuaries Department and land management

Conservation (staff) Questers raising funds for Conservation Science and wildlife monitoring projects

Ruth Smith’s Canterbury Bird Tails raising funds for Community Engagement and membership services

Hilary Chapman’s McLane Mimics raising funds for the McLane Center education and animal care

Kelly Dwyer’s Rockin’ Ravens raising funds for the Massabesic Center education and animal care

NH Audubon’s 2017 Birdathon/Bloomathon Results

Thanks to all who participated and/or donated to this year’s very successful Birdathon/Bloomathon.

The combined species tallies included 183 birds and 103 flowering plants.  The most commonly seen birds were American Goldfinch and Yellow Warbler, but the teams also identified 35 species of greatest conservation need. The blooms covered a great deal of diversity since we had teams counting from the North Country to the Seacoast and covering a wide range of habitats.

Donations are still coming in (as of 6/1/17) but we are on track to raise over $13,500, the highest amount in the last 9 years of the event.  Here’s a special thanks to the winning volunteer teams and individuals:

  • The Big Day Challenge, most birds observed – Dan Hubbard and the “Bird Brains” (111)
  • Flower Power Award, most blooms observed – Mavis Brittelli and the “Hebron Cuckoos” (58)
  • Conservation Award, most combined species – Wendy Ward and Tyson Parody, the “Ashuelot River Ramblers” (111 species)
  • Big Green Award, most money raised (by the tally deadline) – Kyle Wilmarth and Amanda Altena, the “Double-Stuf Orioles” ($435). Dan Hubbard recently surpassed that with over $800 – yeah Dan!
  • Beginner Award, most species observed by a new participant – Tyson Parody (6 birds added to his life list)

Staff members are not eligible for prizes but it is worth noting the following superlatives of staff effort:

  • Director of Land Management, Phil Brown and his team traversed Coos County and observed 120 species of birds
  • Senior Biologist for Avian Conservation, Pam Hunt rallied her troops and engaged over 50 donors
  • Community Engagement Manager, Ruth Smith engaged contributors and raised the over $2700.

In the end NH Audubon was the biggest winner and everyone benefits from the conservation, land management and environmental education work that we are able to do thanks to donor support.

Thanks also to Nikon, Blue Seal and the NH Audubon Nature Store for donating prizes for the winners.