Backyard Bird Count
Great Marsh Bird Count
Birdathon (24 hour event)
Celebration & BBQ
have some fun at Birdathon 2011. Participate in the
traditional 24-hour Birdathon event or the Great Marsh
Bird Count (or both) and then join us for the Celebratory
Get-Together on the final day. Regardless of your level
of birding skills, you will find Birdathon a rewarding
purpose of a Birdathon is to raise funds through birding-related
activities. We want to provide opportunities for many
people to participate in our event and, in doing so,
have lot of fun as well as raise funds to help support
Sea & Sage’s programs. The species seen during
all our Birdåthon events will be combined to make
one big county list. Here is the basic information:
Marsh Bird Count” - Like the Birdathon,
this is a fundraiser and it can be competitive, or not;
the difference is that this bird count can only be done
at the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary. The Marsh Count
runs from Sunday, April 24th to Sunday, May 1st, so
you have more choices of which day to choose for your
count. Each participant must contribute $5 or have a
sponsor who contributes that much or more. You can bird
alone or have up to 3 people join you to form your team.
Like the Birdathon, teams must bird together in one
party and at least 2 members must identify the bird
in order to count it. Teams compete in number of species
seen and/or amount of money raised.
- a 24-hour event on Saturday, April 30th. Birding is
done by a team of no more than 4 members and can be
competitive, or not. The 24-hour period begins at 12:01
am Sat. morning and ends at 11:59 pm Sat. night; of
course, few people bird for the entire 24 hour period.
Two or more members of the team must see or hear the
bird in order to count it. Teams compete in number of
species seen and/or amount of money raised.
and BBQ at the Marsh” for all participants
- Sunday afternoon, May 1st, 3:00 to 6:00 pm. We will
share some hot dogs, burgers, cookies, drinks, and stories
about our birding adventures, and generally just have
a good time together at the Marsh.
up forms are below.
We hope you will join in the fun
by signing up to take part in these exciting events
this year. Hope to see you on the trail to the
Marsh, Bolsa Chica, Crescent Bay, Upper Newport Bay,
Santiago Oaks, Irvine Regional Park, Peters Canyon,
or any other birding spot in Orange County.
Birdathon & Great Marsh Bird Count registration
further information about these events, contact:
Marsh Bird Count - Nancy Kenyon at
- Scott Thomas at
|To join in on
the Birdathon "official count" you will need a team
of no more than 4, who are williing to get a little crazy
about birding, and pick a 24-hour period on, or near, April
30th. The competition is all in fun, but the top teams work
pretty hard at it. The county record is 185 birds and each
year a few teams get close to that record. We are lucky in
most years to have 4 or 5 solid teams that ask their friends,
family, co-workers, business associates and acquaintances
to support them in their quest. The teams are already lining
up for this year's Birdathon event and we are looking forward
to a great day of birding.
you want to support Birdathon by pledging a donation to one
of your favorite birders or a favorite team, please visit
this page after April 15th tor a list of the participants
and their teams, or check with Nancy Kenyon..on
|1. All birding
is to be done within Orange County and up to 3 miles out in
the Pacific Ocean.
|2. All areas birded
must be public access. Birds seen by entering private
land not open to all teams, or areas requiring special permission
to enter, cannot be counted.
|3. All birding
must be done in a single 24-hour period. Ideally all
daylight hours will occur on April 39 (Note that we
do bend this rule. Don't get hung up on the rules.
If you will be birding on a day other than April 30, please
let us know.
|4. Only birds
on the CBRC list will be counted.
|5. Teams will
consist of no more that 4 persons.
|6. Birders must
remain essentially together whilst birding, may use only one
vehicle at a time, and may not divide into groups.
|7. For a bird
to be counted, it must be positively identified by at least
2 members of the team. Identification by song or call
alone is allowed if 2 or more team members concur.
Form for all Birdathon events
Checklist for Orange County
Bird Records Committee Bird List (official bird list for
|Both the Sponsor Sheet and
the Bird Checklist are pdf documents. You will need the free
Reader in order to open the files. Please be patient;
sometimes it takes a few minutes to open these documents.
I have provided a link to the webpage which lists the CBRC
bird list; use this as a guide - it's not a checklist.
do we have a Birdathon?
article about his Birdathon experiences will explain why we
do a Birdathon each year.
by Neal Anderson
Sunday morning. My legs ache from hiking, my shoulders
from carrying an overweight scope. But my spirit is
in heaven. It's the day after the Birdathon and all
night and Saturday was my first attempt at a Birdathon and
I didn't know what to expect. Mike and Margaret Smith,
our chairpersons for this year's event, found a team that
agreed to put up with me for the event, the Wandering Tattlers.
I hope they donít tattle on my ineptitude.
night at dusk, we assembled at Irvine Regional Park to look
for owls, nighthawks and poorwills, in addition to whatever
might show up. The five target species that my teammates
wanted to find all showed up, so it looked like we were
off to a good start.
morning we were to rendezvous at Audubon House at 5:15 AM,
an ungodly hour. With my excitement, I couldn't sleep
and got to Audubon House a half hour early. And I
wasn't the first one there! Susan and Nancy finally
showed up at the appointed time and told me we couldn't
count the birds that I had already identified. It
seems like at least two members of the team needed to identify
the little critters. My first lesson. Off we
went to Newport Pier for pelagic species. Again, we
weren't the first team there. Next, we traveled down
the coast to look for cormorants and a Wandering Tattler.
Again we had success.
down the coast we traveled. Back and forth from the
coast to the foothills, always in search for something on
our list or for something new, we raced against the clock.
By dusk, I was exhausted, so too were my teammates, but
we had fun.
I do it again? You better believe it. I canít
wait for next year's Birdathon to start. Maybe then
I will be able to contribute a little bit more to a team.
Some of you may wonder what the Birdathon is all about.
Itís an event sponsored by National Audubon as a fundraiser.
Local Audubon Chapters can participate in the event if they
so choose. There are specific rules and regulations,
such as the number of members in a team, the method of counting
species, the species allowed to be counted, the time allowed,
and the areas that can be investigated. The Birdathon
happens to be one of our biggest and most successful fund
raising events of the year. We get to compete on a national
basis with other chapters of similar size for prestige and
prizes... Since this event is sponsored by National
Audubon, fifty percent of all moneys collected must go to
National to support their conservation and education programs.
However, as a Chapter, we get to specify how our contribution
is to be used. In the past, we have elected to have
National's portion be used to support Starr Ranch, which
is located here in Orange County. For the many of you who
have visited the Ranch, you know that our contribution is
year, when the Birdathon rolls around, I will be there and
hope to see you there (also). If you canít participate in
the challenge of identifying species, please participate
by sponsoring a team. Your donations go a long way
in supporting our programs here in Orange County.
This article was written many years ago after a first Birdathon
experience. I've kept it to rerun because Neal did such a
great job describing his feelings as a new member of our team
as well as explaining what Birdathon is all about. Since
that first year, Neal has developed into an experienced birder
who is especially good at spotting and identifying those partial
views one gets of "good" birds which are always lurking in
the vegetation. I hope you will experience enough of the excitement
of the event, after reading this article, to want to try it
yourself this year.