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Audubon ‘Bird-a-thon’ set for month of May

By Staff | May 4, 2017

The Potomac Valley Audubon Society (PVAS) will hold its eighth annual “Ruth Ann Dean Memorial Bird-a-thon” during the month of May.

Everyone in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia and Washington County Maryland is welcome to participate, regardless of their experience or expertise at birding.

The bird-a-thon offers several options for joining friendly competitions to see who can identify the highest number of bird species during any consecutive 24-hour period in May.

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 bird-a-thon activities are free but participants are encouraged to seek pledges from neighbors, family, and friends to help raise funds for bird conservation in the Eastern Panhandle. This year, all funds raised will be used to improve Chimney Swift habitat on the Shepherd University campus.

Full details are available on the PVAS website at www.potomacaudubon.org. or contact Bridget Tinsley at bridget@potomacaudubon.org.

People can participate in the bird-a-thon in one of two 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 May.

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

The second way to participate is to initiate a “Big Sit,” in which one chooses any location within PVAS’s territory and identify all the bird species seen or heard from within a 50-foot diameter circle-again, within a 24-consecutive-hour-period.

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 series of local activities commemorating International Migratory Bird Day.