May 15 @ 12:01 am - 11:59 pm
Participants will have twenty-four hours to identify as many birds as they can across Bucks County (or even in their own yards!) while raising money to help Bucks Audubon’s environmental education programs.
Click here to register to be a part of this year’s Bird-a-Thon!
PARTICIPATION AND ENTRY FEES
The 2021 Bucks Audubon Birdathon is open to any interested birders of all skill levels, whether or not they are a member of Bucks Audubon, and regardless of whether they reside in Bucks County. However, participants from out-of-county should follow any travel restrictions due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that may be in force on May 15, 2021. The entry fee for the 2021 Bucks Audubon Birdathon will be $15/member and $25/non-member. Additionally, participants are encouraged––though not required––to collect pledges to donate a set amount of money per species identified during the Birdathon.
SOLO PARTICIPANTS, TEAMS AND CATEGORIES
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, participants may participate alone or in teams, and teams are not required to travel or bird together. Teams may consist of between two and four birders. Solo participants or teams may compete in a region of their choice. These regions are:
- Countywide (All of Bucks County)
- Upper Bucks (Defined as Milford, Trumbauersville, Richland, Richlandtown, Quakertown, Springfield, Durham, Riegelsville, Bridgeton, Nockamixon, Haycock, Tinicum, Bedminster, East Rockhill, West Rockhill, Perkasie, Sellersville, Silverdale, Hilltown, the Bucks County portion of Telford, Dublin, Chalfont, New Britain, Doylestown Township and Borough, Warrington, Warwick, Buckingham, Solebury, and New Hope)
- Lower Bucks (Defined as Falls, Bristol Boro and Township, Bensalem, Hulmeville, Pendel, Middletown, Langhorne, Langhorne Manor, Lower Southampton, Upper Southampton, Northampton, Warminster, Ivyland, Wrightstown, Newtown Boro and Township, Yardley, Lower Makefield, and Upper Makefield)
- Yard (Defined by the boundaries of the competitor’s property)
Additionally, applicable countywide participants may compete in two additional categories: Young Birder (participant/all team members are 18 years of age or younger) and New Birder (participant/all team members have less than two years of birding experience). Participants competing in the New and Young Birder categories will also be considered in the overall Countywide region. Teams or participants should designate which region they plan to compete in, and whether they would like to compete in either the Young or New Birder categories, when they register for the Birdathon. Any participant may change which region or category they plan to compete in up until May 14, 2021. Teams or participants may compete in only one region. For example, a birder competing in the Countywide region may not submit the total number of birds they saw within the geographic confines of Upper Bucks for consideration in that category.
The Birdathon will take place on May 15, 2021, beginning at midnight and ending at 11:59pm, inclusive. Any bird species identified during that twenty-four hour window may be counted towards a team or participant’s total for the Birdathon. Birds may be identified by sight, call, or song. Bird species must be positively identified, and no species should be counted if a participant has any doubt as to what species it is. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is not required that all team members individually identify every species counted towards the team’s total. However, for teams birding together while following COVID protocols, no species should be counted if any team members have any doubts or disagreements as to what species it is. When in doubt, don’t count. Teams competing in the Countywide, Upper, or Lower Bucks regions may bird together if following all COVID-19 safety protocols (i.e., maintaining social distancing at all times, not traveling in the same vehicle unless they are members of the same household) or bird separately.
In the Countywide, Upper and Lower Bucks regions, any bird counted towards the total must be physically within the boundaries of the region when seen. For the purposes of this competition, the Delaware River will be counted as “in bounds;” i.e., a bird seen flying directly over the river may be counted. Conversely, in the Yard region any bird seen from the competitor’s property, whether or not it is physically within the bounds of their property, may be counted towards the total. Because May is a sensitive time for many species that nest in Bucks County, playback of bird songs or calls may not be used as audio lures. Teams and participants may share their sightings on listservs or eBird.org if they so choose, even during the Birdathon.
The 2021 Bucks Audubon Birdathon will use the eBird taxonomy that is current as of May 15, 2021. Any bird considered a full species by the eBird taxonomy on the day of the competition may be counted toward the total.
SUBMISSION AND ANNOUNCEMENT OF RESULTS
The Bucks County Audubon Society will provide all teams and participants with a digital checklist. To submit their list of bird species, each team or participant will need to fill out and submit that digital checklist; if they are unable to do so, alternative arrangements may be made. Certain species will require documentation to be counted towards the total. This can be a photo, audio recording, or a written description (we’re not all photographers, after all). The species requiring documentation that are on the checklist will be clearly designated. Any “write in” species that is not on the checklist will require documentation.
Bucks Audubon will host a follow-up zoom meeting to announce the winners in each region and category.
Prizes will be awarded to the solo participants and teams that identify the most species of birds in each geographic region, plus the New and Young Birder categories. A prize will also be awarded to whichever team or participant raises the most funds. While staff members and current members of the Bucks Audubon Board of Directors are not eligible for prizes in this competition, they may compete. If they win in any region or category, the eligible team or participant with the next highest total number of species will win the award for that category.
All teams must remain in accordance with all applicable COVID-19 safety protocols, including any relevant local, county-level, state, or federal rules or mandates. All participants must wear masks whenever social distancing cannot be maintained and should remain six feet away from other participants, teammates, and members of the general public, excepting members of a participant’s own household.
All participants are expected to remain in accordance with the American Birding Association’s Birding Code of Ethics. Lastly, all competitors in the 2021 Bucks Audubon Birdathon are expected to hold themselves to the honor system.