2019 Bird-a-Thon Challenge: May 1-15

2019 marks the 52st Anniversary of the incorporation of our chapter. Last year we raised over $2,000 – it would be great to top that. 

Those of you who plan to go birding to raise money should choose a day between May 1st and May 15th. You can go birding anywhere in the world on that day. Sponsors usually make their pledges as a flat amount or on a per bird basis, so the more species you identify, the more money you can raise. 

Download your 2019 Bird-a-Thon sponsorship form here!

You don’t have to go birding alone. The more eyes and ears you have the better. You can start at 12:01am and bird until 11:59pm if you have the stamina. The funds that we raise with our Birdathon will be used to fund grant requests that are submitted to us. In the past these have included grants to local nature centers and schools, to the MN Arboretum, the Audubon Center of the North Woods and the MN Valley NWR. Most of our grants support educational efforts directed at children. 

Here are a few simple tips: 

  • Don’t be afraid to ask! Most people are reluctant to ask for donations, but I am always surprised at how many people are willing to help, especially when they understand what the money will be used for. Be sure to tell them that it is our 51th anniversary.
  • Plan out your route! Pay attention to the weather and the latest reports on MOU, e-bird and Facebook. The best results are achieved if you can visit a variety of habitats on a nice day.
  • Tell your sponsors what you did! Most sponsors have some interest in what you are doing and will want to know what the highlights of your day were. This will help you in upcoming years to ask for repeat sponsorship.
  • Use a sponsorship form! Forms can be downloaded here or you can get one from Walt Stull (see below for his contact info). This helps you keep track of who your donors are and how much they have pledged.

All donations that you collect should be submitted to Walt Stull by June 1, 2019. You can contact him at 612-889-3550 or at mathemagicland@Q.com. It is best to give the donations directly to Walt at the general meeting, (4th Thursday – May 23) but they also can be mailed to MRVAC at PO Box 20400, Bloomington, MN 55420. 

You don’t need to sponsor a birder to donate; direct donations are welcomed as well! 

Treasurer’s Report: September, 2018

Here are the 2017-2018 fiscal year donations from MRVAC to organizations that support our goals of fostering a love of nature in children, improving bird habitat or supporting bird science. 

Audubon Center of the North Woods: $3000 for scholarships for residential K-12 school visits and summer camp 

Five Hawks Elementary School: $225 to establish a Chickadee Landing at the elementary school 

Refuge Friends Inc, the official citizen support group of Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge (MVNWR):

  • $1500 for Blue Goose busing or support of activities coordinator to work with schools in getting them to the refuge for educational programming, wherever the need is greater. 
  • $775 for a sign at Old Cedar Avenue Bridge showing some of the birds that can be found there. 

Red-headed Woodpecker Recovery Project: $3,000 for continued research on Red Headed Woodpeckers 

Walt Stull: MRVAC’s New Treasurer

I have been a longtime, but inactive member of Audubon and am looking forward to being more involved as Treasurer of MRVAC. I have been retired for three years and am what I would describe as a recreational birder. My other interests are golf, travel and reading.

Our back yard with woods and feeders is a favorite place to bird especially with spring migration. A favorite out-state place to bird is the Sax-Zim Bog.

Two places in Minnesota I have not birded, but look forward to visiting are the Detroit Lakes area and Salt Lake in western Minnesota. My most adventurous birding trips were to Belize and Ecuador/Galapagos Islands.

Walt Stull, mathemagicland@Q.com