Birdathon

Birdathon is back for 2024!

birdathon image by Tara HempsteadIllustration by Tara Hempstead. Tara Hempstead is a writer, illustrator, and violinist. Catch her work at www.tarahempstead.com and on Instagram.

There are many ways to participate, and we hope you will be part of it! The recipe for Birdathon is simple – the peak of spring bird migration + the enthusiasm and creativity of birders + the generosity of supporters – but we never know quite what concoction we’ll get. Sometimes it’s trying to see as many bird species in one day as allowed within limits of the law. Other times, it’s a gab session with bird counting on the side. But in all cases, the goal is enjoyment of the birdiest time of year to remind us of why we made birds an important part of our lives.

 

Here are the ground rules for Birdathon

Each team that participates will count bird species within a 24-hour time window, during the April 26-29 period. It doesn’t have to be a 24-hour effort, or anywhere close to that; part of a morning or afternoon will do. Each team should devise a theme or strategy – something that will inspire others to support their effort and achievement. Information about the teams will be shared through the PAS website in mid-April, encouraging supporters to make pledges to the teams of their choosing. These pledges are usually in dollars or cents per bird species found, but teams or supporters are welcome to devise other incentives. After the Birdathon weekend is complete, all surviving teams will report how they did, then encourage their supporters to pay up on their pledges promptly!

Birdathon pledges and donations are made to Pasadena Audubon, to fund our many programs. So while you’re encouraging a Birdathon team to excel, you’re also funding the Bird Science Program in local schools, the publication of the Wrentit newsletter, bird research with Motus, the PAS grants program, informative presentations at the monthly meetings, the Young Birders Club, and more.

Birding teams will form spontaneously between now and April 15. Several will be small and fixed in number (even one person can be a solo team!), but we also encourage open teams to form that can add interested members. Each team will need a captain, who will be the main contact with PAS and the Birdathon organizer, as well as a team name. Teams are encouraged to recruit non-birding friends and family to sponsor their Birdathon campaigns.

Perhaps you’re interested in forming a team, but haven’t decided what to do? To start the brainstorming process, consider some examples from past Birdathons: a no-holds-barred effort to see as many species as possible in one day; strategic placement of lawn chairs to see as many species as possible without walking a single step; a birding route devised to have margaritas at the final destination; a day of birding done entirely by foot; a Birdathon in which only photographed species are counted; a full morning at your very favorite place to bird; birding in your immediate neighborhood.

As April 26-29 nears, look for more news about Birdathon here . If you’re thinking of forming a team, please send us a message at birdathon@pasadenaaudubon.org!

Darren Dowell
Birdathon 2024 organizer,
birdathon@pasadenaaudubon.org

 

 

Meet the teams!

Arroyo Ramblers

Date/time: Saturday April 27, full day starting pre-dawn
Team captain: Carl Matthies, cfmatthies@yahoo.com
Open team, able to take on a few more birders for full or part day

Golf has been described as 'a good walk spoiled'. The Arroyo Ramblers Birdathon team is 'a good walk greatly enhanced' by the pleasure of tallying the avian diversity from El Prieto Canyon to the Lower Arroyo and the camaraderie of raising money for all the good work that Pasadena Audubon Society does. Starting before sunup on the 27th of April, we’ll bird by ear in the canyon before walking through Hahamongna Watershed Park, past Devil’s Gate Dam, down through the Rose Bowl area and Brookside Park (where we’ll stop for lunch), and onto the Lower Arroyo Seco. In the late afternoon we’ll head back to the starting point (by car, we're not that hardcore) for one last shot at any foothills species we may have missed in the early morning. All told, probably about seven miles of walking. Lastly, The Arroyo Ramblers will count any additional species seen or heard in team members’ yards or neighborhoods at the end of the day. We’ve set an ambitious goal of logging 100 species, but with some skilled birders committed to the team, it’s feasible! It sounds like a long, strenuous day, and it is, but folks can join for segments if they wish. Email Carl at cfmatthies@yahoo.com to join and/or pledge!

 

Altadena Canyon Wrens

Date/time: Saturday April 27, full day starting 6:30 AM
Team captain: Emily Allen, elallen54@gmail.com
Open team, able to take on a few more birders (starting 6:30, ending when you like)

We plan to walk most of the day in and out of the canyons, but team members can stay as long as they wish. Must be capable of hiking up and down steep trails. Expect 40 species unless we get very lucky. We will start early, approximately 6:30. Details are still TBD. Bring lunch snacks and water. Contact Emily at elallen54@gmail.com to sign up and for details.

 

Pasadena Parks Posse

Date/time: Sunday, April 28, starting at 7am for a full day, or when fatigue overtakes us.
Team Captain: Deborah Tammearu revdeb.tammearu8@gmail.com
Open team, happy to fly solo, but would love to have company for all or part of the day.

Pasadena has 25 parks, but no, we won’t be walking all of them. The plan is start at Viña Vieja, 1 of 3 very birdy parks on Orange Grove Blvd., then go from there to other local green spots, with a full list to be finalized. We will be walking on mostly flat surfaces and taking breaks as needed.
Do you have a favorite local park? We can divide up the locations and combine results at the end of the day. The Posse optimistically hopes to round up 40 species. Email Deb at revdeb.tammearu8@gmail.com to join and/or pledge.

 

Annibirdaversathon Team

Date/time: Saturday, April 27, from 8:00-noon
Team Captain: Laura Solomon
Open team, with room for 10 more birders. Contact birdathon@pasadenaaudubon.org to sign up.

In honor of the fifth wedding anniversary of Laura and Gavin coinciding with Birdathon, our team will be the Annibirdaversathon Team. Join us for a relaxed birding session in our Pasadena garden on Saturday, April 27. We'll provide coffee and tea; we invite participants to bring brunch treats to share. Will we beat the site Birdathon record of 33 species?

 

If you’re thinking of forming a team, please send us a message at birdathon@pasadenaaudubon.org!