The Bird-a-thon is on for 2023!
Details for this year
The Delaware Bird-A-Thon is back this spring, so mark your calendars and get ready to do some birding for a great cause! In the 17 years since it began, the Bird-A-Thon has raised over $700,000 for conservation, helped preserve 2,680 acres of habitat and supports DOS's Conservation Science Grants program. Given this track record, we are thrilled to announce that this year's Bird-A-Thon will take place from May 6-14, 2023! Brochures will be mailed directly to members in April, but registration forms, the full list of rules, and tips and tricks for a successful Bird-A-Thon are availabe below if you scroll down.
Property target for the 2023 Bird-a-thon
Many years we have identified a property to purchase with funds raised that year. However, these types of purchases take years to negotiate and close and for this year we do not have any properties ready for final closing. We have two properties of critical bird habitat that are close and will probably be announced with next year's Bird-a-thon. The money you raise or donate this year will be set aside to be used to purchase these or similar properties when the negotiations are completed .
What is the Delaware Bird-A-Thon?
The Bird-A-Thon is a fundraiser focused on purchasing and conserving critical bayshore habitat in Delaware. Over 15 years we have raised over $600,000 and protected 2100 acres of habitat for shorebirds and other coastal species of concern. Many of these sites are used by long-distance migrants, including the famous Red Knot. A portion of the funds are also used to support the DOS Conservation Science Grants program.
How does the Bird-a-Thon work?
Paricipants in the Bird-A-Thon try to see how many birds they can find in a 24-hour period and how much money they can raise by signing up sponsors to support them. Sponsors can pledge either a set sum of money or an amount of money per bird species seen or heard. Sign up your sponsors and then go find birds in your backyard, wander through your neighborhood, explore a state park, or bird the entire state! Have fun birding while helping to purchase critical habitats!
How can I donate to the Bird-a-Thon?
If you aren't able to participate in the field but you want to support the effort, you or your business can donate directly to the Bird-a-Thon fund. All contributions are tax-deductible. If you want your contribution to go to a specific team, enter the team name where indicated on the donation form.
What are the rules for the Delaware Bird-A-Thon?
- Time period: May 1st-8th, 2022
- Count must be conducted during a single 24-hour period.
- Birds may be identified either by sight or sound in Delaware, maritime boundaries included.
- For teams, 2 or more team members must identify the bird.
- Participants must adhere to the ABA Code of Birding Ethics.
- Record birds on the checklist provided in the Bird-A-Thon brochure.
- Wild birds only, no zoo birds or escapees are eligible.
- To be eligible for prizes, all checklists, pledge sheets, and funds must be received by June 15th, 2021.
- Mail completed checklist, pledge form, registration or contributor’s form, and collected donations to: DOS, PO Box 4247, Greenville, DE 19807.
Statewide: The traditional Bird-A-Thon format. Birds are counted throughout the state using any method of transport.
Carbon-free: Lessen your impact on the planet by birding only by walking, biking, and other carbon emissions-free transport methods
County Challenge: Bird within one of Delaware's three amazing counties!
Yard Challenge (NEW): Bird from your yard or immediate neighborhood!
Patch Challenge (NEW): Bird at a single favorite location, such as a local park or wildlife area!
Photography Challenge (NEW): Only photographed birds are counted! Test your photography skills with this fun new category!
I want to participate. How do I sign up?
You can register online or by printing out a PDF form and mailing it in. Once you are registered you need to find sponsors to pledge to your Bird-a-thon. See the tips below.
Tips for a Successful Bird-a-Thon
Part of the fun is getting sponsors. Here are some tips for fundraising!