Every spring Central New Mexico Audubon Society sponsors the Birdathon as the major fundraiser of the year. The goal of a Birdathon is to see as many bird species as possible in a 24-hour period while raising money for a special cause. Each team member raises money, and other CNMAS members are encouraged to donate money to support the team in its effort to reach the financial goal for the chosen project. Donors either pledge an amount per species or donate a set amount in support of a team. If you would like to join a team and/or donate please contact the team leader. If you would like to create your own Birdathon team contact the CNMAS President for more information.
May 1-15, 2020
Given the social distancing requirements this spring, CNMAS decided to conduct a different kind of Birdathon with no specific destinations and no teams. This unusual approach compiled individual efforts from wherever people were able to bird during the first two weeks of May and combined that information into a joint list.
Twenty-three birders conducted a total of fifty-four counts in Albuquerque-area backyards, a cabin near Las Vegas, a meadow in Angel Fire, a backyard in Socorro, Melrose Woods and Paseo del Rio campground in Truth or Consequences, logging a combined total of 206 species. More details can be found in the forthcoming Summer 2020 Burrowing Owl newsletter.
Donors can make a gift at any time by clicking on the donation link at the bottom of the CNMAS homepage (http://cnmas.newmexicoaudubon.org/), commenting in the notes section that the donation is for Birdathon. Alternatively, donors can send a check by mail to CNMAS Birdathon, P.O. Box 30002, Albuquerque, NM 87190-0002. The money will be given to the Whitfield Wildlife Conservation Area in Valencia County. The total amount contributed will be shown here when available.
Thursday Birders Team
May 2-3, 2019
The 20 members of the Thursday Birder Vermilion Flycatcher Team conducted a 24-hour Birdathon on May 2 & 3, 2019, to raise money for the preservation of the Belen Marsh in Belen, NM. Being considered for development into an expanded parking area in 2008 by the the Valencia County Fair Association owners, CNMAS and local residents of Valencia County intervened to preserve the wetland habitat. CNMAS and local residents conduct bi-yearly clean-ups of the marsh and continue to advocate for keeping the marsh as a habitat for ducks, shorebirds, and other birds. And the good news, $3,017.00 was raised through the Birdathon.
The team picked the Pecos River Valley for their Birdathon location. The base for the team was a birding hot spot itself, the Washington Ranch. At the ranch, some participants stayed in rooms and cabins and others were in their RVs or tents. The original plan to head out to nearby Slaughter Canyon early in the morning of the Birdathon was postponed when gale force winds began to rage about 5:15 a.m. The next step was to postpone the start of the Birdathon for a few hours, when we were able to find locations sheltered from the wind but still active with birds. The wind kept up all day, decreasing very gradually in the afternoon. The second hot spot we visited was nearby Rattlesnake Springs where the Vermilion Flycatchers were abundant and abundantly beautiful. The third hot spot, Slaughter Canyon, was visited late that afternoon and again early the next morning. The weather for the morning trip was ideal and so were the birds. The team was delighted to have counted 93 species by 9:30 a.m. on May 3 in spite of the terrible wind the previous day. The 93 species included four Bunting species: Lazuli, Indigo, Varied, and Painted Buntings, four Oriole species: Orchard, Hooded, Bullock’s and Scott’s Oriole, and four Vireo species: Bell’s, Gray, Plumbeous, and Hutton’s Vireos.