by Dianne Rowse 

It’s time to prepare for the 2016 MRVAC Bird-a-Thon FUNdraiser! You get to pick a day between May 1 and May 16 as your Bird-a-Thon day. You can bird anywhere in the world for up to 24 hours (less is fine) on your chosen day.

Click here to download the Birdathon Sponsor Form

StudentsBinocularsThis is an opportunity to spend a day birding while raising money for MRVAC. The funds will be used to support birder education efforts, such as programs at the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, area parks and nature centers. If this is your first time doing Bird-a-Thon and you raise at least $100, your name will be entered in a drawing for a magnificent prize.

Here’s how to participate: You simply ask friends and relatives to either pledge to donate a certain amount per bird sighted or a specified sum. Some birders will sight over 100 birds on a Bird-a-Thon day, so a pledge of 25 cents per bird could bring in $25.00 from one sponsor.

Here’s a suggested planning list:

  1. Now through early May: Using a Bird-a-Thon sponsor form, collect pledges from friends and relatives. Forms are available on our website (click here), at MRVAC meetings (welcome table) or you can make up your own form.
  2. Save the date! Put your planned Bird-a-Thon date on your personal calendar. Invite someone to come along, especially a young person with extra keen eyesight.
  3. The week before: Plan your route to a variety of favorite birding spots, including different habitats such as wetlands, forest and prairie. Check ebird.org or the MOU list serves (www.moumn.org) to find out where people are finding unusual birds.
  4. Bird-a-Thon day: Try to start early in the morning when birds are most active. Take notes about each location you bird at, check off birds seen on the checklist, and jot down anything spectacular or interesting.
  5. After your birding day: Type up a short summary of your Bird-a-Thon day to send to your sponsors. Share your memorable sightings and a little about your day. Be sure to include the places you went birding and a copy of your checklist. Conclude by asking for the dollar amount pledged and where to mail a check to you. Ask sponsors to make the check out to MRVAC. Deliver your letters to your sponsors by email or other method.
  6. Turn in your collected funds to Bob Williams, MRVAC Treasurer, by June 1st, by mailing them to: MRVAC; PO Box 20400; Bloomington, MN 55420. Thank you for your Bird-a-Thon effort in support of MRVAC