Newburyport Daily News
---- — Mass Audubon’s annual Bird-a-thon, a friendly competition and fundraiser to support conservation across the Commonwealth, is again expected to inspire hundreds of dedicated enthusiasts in a 24-hour bird-spotting challenge on May 17 and May 18.
The statewide contest, which began in 1983 with only eight participants, is marking its 30th anniversary this spring and has grown to become Mass Audubon’s single largest annual fundraising event.
Bird-a-thon 2013 will commence at 6 p.m. on the evening of Friday, May 17, and finish at 5:59 p.m. on Saturday, May 18. During those 24 hours, participants will attempt to see or hear as many birds as possible, with their efforts being supported by hundreds of individual sponsors.
In 2012, 270 species were identified by more than 740 participants on 28 teams. Nearly $200,000 was raised by the teams and their supporters. This year, 30 teams will be competing and organizers are hoping to surpass those totals.
Appropriate for people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds, Bird-a-thon encourages participants to connect with nature while raising funds for Mass Audubon’s wildlife sanctuaries and programs.
Prizes-from trophies and gift cards to T-shirts will be awarded in multiple categories, including for the most species spotted by a team, the most money raised by a team, and the top individual fundraiser.
Those who can’t join a team can still participate by pledging money to a team member or by becoming a “Bird-a-thon Booster” and doing their own fundraising.
To join a team, make a donation, or get more information, visit www.massaudubon.org/birdathon.