Before warm weather finally gets here and you won’t want to be inside at your computer, take a look at several fun and exciting birding opportunities that are coming up in May through the Great Wisconsin Birdathon. You can spend time with bird experts in special places and support bird conservation. It’s birding for the cause of birds, no matter what your skill level, and the fundraising part of it is all online, automated, interactive, and easy.
On May 10, you can spend a full day (4:30 am – 9:00 pm) in the field with Mike Mossman and Tod Persche searching the Baraboo Hills and Badger Army Ammunition Plant property for birds as part of a Big Day Birdathon Team for the Great Wisconsin Birdathon. The registration fee is $25 and you are encouraged to raise at least $100 to attend. If you want to hone your birding skills with two experts on Birds of the Baraboo Hills, be part of a group of 12 people that will raise at least $1,200 for bird conservation that day, and explore nooks and crannies of the Baraboo Hills and Badger Ammo Plant, this is your golden opportunity. Go to www.wibirdathon.org to register.
On May 19, Mike Mossman will lead another Big Day field trip with Yoyi Steele, coordinator for Wisconsin’s Important Bird Areas Program, at the Leopold Memorial Reserve, Leopold Pine Island State Natural Area, and Lower Baraboo River. This trip will be from 4:30 am until noon. The same registration fees and other information for Big Day field trips apply.
On May 4, you can go birding for the Sauk Prairie Birdathon, any portion of the day between midnight and midnight. For information on this event, go to www.wibirdathon.org, click on Join a Team, and look for Bird City Team – Sauk Prairie. Birding for the Sauk Prairie Birdathon, which will support our Bird City activities, must occur within Sauk City and Prairie du Sac village limits and within the viewshed across from town, between the river and the bluff tops to the east. At the Sauk Prairie Bird City Team page, click Join the Team and create your own page for collecting pledges. Whether you collect $5 or $500 in pledges, you will be helping and enjoying birds.
Any time during the month of May, you can go birding anywhere in Wisconsin, collect a few pledges, and support bird conservation through the Great Wisconsin Birdathon.
To participate in any of the above, you will set up your own webpage at the Great Wisconsin Birdathon website, where you can post photos and text, blog, link to your Facebook page, etc. – it can be as fancy or as simple as you want. Instructions and a bird checklist are provided in the Birdathon Tool Kit.
If you don’t want participate in any of these birding opportunities but want to support birds, pledge to any of these teams at www.wibirdathon.org. You can either pledge per species or donate a fixed amount.
All pledging is done securely online, and all the information you need is at www.wibirdathon.org.
While I am indeed shamelessly fundraising here, I am truly excited about the opportunities we are offering birdwatchers of all skill levels through the Birdathon and I hope you will take advantage of these Sauk County opportunites, either as a birder or a donor.
You might also be interested in seeing the 122 field trips being offered by the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin this year at www.wisconservation.org, ten of which are in Sauk County. Registration opens March 20 and many trips fill fast, so check it out soon.
Feel free to pass this along to your bird-loving friends in the area.