WHEN: Saturday, February 23, 2013
With spring just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to scope out an array of birds. Those interested in spotting migrating and resident birds can do so while raising money for the Frontera Audubon Society’s annual Birdathon.
“The event is a unique, non-competitive birding opportunity for the family and is free of charge,” said Frontera Audubon President Jim Chapman. “We hope families will visit many of the parks and preserves in the Valley to go birding or just to get outdoors and enjoy the scenery.”
Birdathon, held on February 23, 2013 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., challenges birders and nature enthusiasts to trek across the Rio Grande Valley to find the greatest number of bird species in a single day.
Like a walkathon, Birdathon participants collect donation pledges from friends and family members. Donations can be a flat amount or pegged to the number of bird species spotted by participating teams.
“Pledges can run from 10¢ to $1 a species,” says Sarah Williams, Frontera Audubon Society’s executive director who is herself a member of the Avian Addicts. One of 10 teams that will take part in the friendly competition, they will set their own schedule and itinerary.
“Depending on the goals of the team, some will go birding for a half-day and others will get up early and go the full 12 hours with a very focused strategy,” Williams says.
“Birders of all levels will participate from children to high school students to more seasoned groups.”
During Frontera’s last Birdathon, 211 species were recorded, and many of the teams will try to beat their count from previous years.
“It’s going to be as rigorous as our team wants it to be, but it’s going to be fun,” says Dan Jones, a member of Frontera Audubon and leader of the Wild Turkeys team.
More than anything, Birdathon offers an opportunity to mingle with like-minded, experienced individuals and raise money for a worthy cause.
“This is one way we get to socialize while doing what we love and help out with fundraising in the process,” says another Frontera member and Border Birders team leader, Michael Delesantro.
Williams said there is still room for more participants to join a team.
“It’s going to be a fun day, and anyone interested is welcome to join us,” she says.
For more information, call 956-968-3275 or visit http://www.fronteraaudubon.org.