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2021 Birdathon
Go birding and help support Saw Mill River Audubon’s
local conservation and education work
and choose another birding group to support, if you wish!

The goal is to identify as many species of birds as possible in a 24-hour period while birding within six New York counties, OR birding in just one county OR birding in just one hotspot OR birding in just one point your own yard or neighborhood park or other location, following the “Big Sit” rules.

You may bird anywhere within the six county area of the middle and lower Hudson Valley (Ulster, Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland or Westchester Counties) with prizes for highest species overall, highest species in one county, highest species in one hotspot, and highest species from one point/Big Sit.

Teams need to register both their participants
AND the category in which they will be competing
by Thursday, October 7, 2021

If you need help building a team or selecting a category,
please contact our Birdathon organizers at birdathon@smra.club

In support of Saw Mill River Audubon and other local birding groups, the Birdathon registration is $25/person with a minimum of $100/team.

  • NEW THIS YEAR: Half of the registration fee will go to the birding group the team designates and half will go to Saw Mill River Audubon.
  • See the Birdathon rules below for options for different team sizes and categories.
  • You can make a secure online payment using the link below using MC/Visa or you can choose to pay by check sent after online registration.

2021 Birdathon – General Rules

  1. Record all the bird species seen or heard during a continuous 24-hour period within the Birdathon window.
    • Each team decides on their start time, notifies the Compiler via WhatsApp as they begin, and their end time is automatically calculated as 24 hours later.
    • For example, if the team starts at 7pm on Friday, then the end time is 7pm on Saturday.
  2. The Birdathon window starts on Friday October 8th at 6:00 pm and ends on 9:00 am on Sunday October 10th.
  3. eBird is to be used for all checklist submissions (see more under Counting the Birds) and the final checklist including all adjustments must be submitted/agreed with the Compiler within 30 minutes of the team’s end time.
  4. Entry fee per team per category is $25 per person with a minimum donation of $100 per category entered.
    • EXCEPTION for teams entering the “highest number of species from a single point”: If your team only consists of 2-3 participants, the entry fee is simply $25 per person.
  5. Each team is made up of at least 2 participants and no more than 10 participants, depending on the category.
  6. Any bird clubs located within the Birdathon boundaries are encouraged to participate. Each club will receive 50% of the entrance fee for each team entering from their club.
  7. At least one team member must be a current member of the bird club under which they enter.
  8. For carpooling, social distancing and other safety precautions during the pandemic, please ensure that you follow the CDC guidelines current at the time of the Birdathon.
  9. The Birdathon boundaries are within the following six middle and lower Hudson Valley counties:
    • Westchester
    • Putnam
    • Dutchess
    • Rockland
    • Orange
    • Ulster
  10. By 12:00 pm on Thursday October 7th, the Team Leader must confirm the following:
    • team’s category selection
    • county, if entering the county category
    • hotspot, if entering the hotspot category
    • single point, if entering the single point category

Fall 2021 Birdathon Categories

 Highest Number of Species – 2 to 5 participants

  • Overall number of species seen within the 24-hour period across any or all of the 6 counties

 Highest Number of Species within a single county – 2 to 5 participants

  • Highest number of species within a selected county
  • Final selection of your county at least 24 hours before the Birdathon starts

 Highest Number of Species within a single eBird Hotspot – 2 to 5 participants

  • Highest number of species within an existing eBird Hotspot
  • Final selection of your hotspot at least 24 hours before the Birdathon starts

 Highest Number of Species from a single point – 2 to 10 participants

  • Using the basic rules of a “Big Sit”, a circle measuring 30 feet in diameter—expanded to facilitate social distancing—should be drawn & marked somehow—perhaps with ribbons or rope—and all species seen or heard from within the circle, are counted
  • Final selection of your single point at least 24 hours before the Birdathon starts
  • This can be an ideal category for those wanting to participate from home

2021 Birdathon—Counting the Birds during the Birdathon

  1. This is an eBird Birdathon!
  2. Once your team is ready to start, a message must be sent to the 2021 SMRA Birdathon WhatsApp group to confirm your start time. That is when your 24 hours start counting down.
  3. Submit an eBird checklist for each location within 30 minutes after you finish birding that location.
  4. Each list must be shared with Saw Mill River Audubon. (Our eBird name is: SMRAebird.) If you fail to do this, your list will not be counted.
  5. In the comments section of your list please include “Birdathon and the name-of-your-team”. This way we will know it is you as multiple members of your team can submit checklists.
  6. Our Birdathon Compiler will tally the results as the Birdathon is in progress so please make sure your list is accurate. If you make a mistake, you must fix the checklist, resubmit it and then notify the Compiler (failure to notify the Compiler will mean your error will not be corrected).
  7. All the usual eBird protocols apply, which include details/descriptions on rare sightings, maximum distance for a traveling checklist (less than 5 miles), and so on. See eBird protocol assistance here.
  8. Most of the birders in your team (depends on team size) must confirm the sighting before it is added to the checklist. For example, if you have 4 members in your team, then 3 must confirm the sighting. If you have 2 members in your team, then both of you will need to confirm the sighting.
  9. There is no oversight for the teams while out in the field so the accuracy of the lists will work on the honor system – this is for fun and to help raise funds for local birding clubs.

If you need help building a team or selecting a category, please feel free to contact our Birdathon organizers at birdathon@smra.club