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Birdathon set for May 2-3

By Staff | Apr 20, 2015

The Potomac Valley Audubon Society (PVAS) will hold its sixth annual “Ruth Ann Dean Memorial Birdathon” the weekend of May 2-3.

Everyone is welcome to participate, regardless of their experience or expertise at birding.

The Birdathon offers several options for joining friendly competitions to see who can identify the highest number of bird species during the weekend inside PVAS’s geographical territory (Jefferson, Berkeley, and Morgan counties in West Virginia and Washington County in Maryland).

PVAS bills the event as very family-friendly and says it is great way to get children more interested in birds and the natural world in general. All its activities are free.

Those who participate are encouraged to seek pledges from neighbors, family, and friends to help raise funds to improve wild bird habitat at PVAS’s Stauffer’s Marsh Nature Preserve.

Full details are available on the PVAS website at www.potomacaudubon.org. Or contact the event coordinator, Sandy Sagalkin, at monsansagalkin@myactv.net or 240-291-6465.

People can participate in the Birdathon in one of three ways.

The first way is to go out in the field, as part of a team or as an individual, and actively seek to identify as many birds as possible during any 24-consecutive-hour-period during the weekend.

Birdathon teams should be two to five members in size and can be made up of friends or family members. If you don’t have a team of your own, PVAS can help you find one.

The second way to participate is to initiate a “Big Sit,” in which you choose any location you want within PVAS’s territory and identify all the bird species you can see or hear from within a 50-foot diameter circleagain, within a 24-consecutive-hour-period during the weekend. You can locate your circle outside your porch or deck, in your yard, or in some favorite local spot. Here, too, you can do this on your own or invite friends and family to join you and make it a special event. This is a much easier option, and better suited for older folks and families with small children.

Those participating in the field and in individual or small-group Big Sits are asked to register with PVAS. Registration is free and easy on the PVAS website.

PVAS’s annual Birdathon is named in honor of Ruth Ann Dean, who was a founding member and ardent supporter of PVAS. Each year, it is part of a week of local activities commemorating International Migratory Bird Day.