This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Amos Butler Audubon Society Birdathon, the most successful fundraising event in the history of the chapter. With this year’s donations of $25,670, we have raised a grand total of $720,675 since 1987. It would not be possible to continue such an endeavor without the generous support of our donors, volunteers, and teams who have shown a remarkable commitment to our mission to promote the stewardship and enjoyment of the birds of central Indiana.
This year a Birdathon grant has extended our project with the American Bird Conservancy to purchase a parcel of land in Guatemala critical to the protection of an important biological corridor and migratory bird flyway. This wintering and stopover habitat is vital to at least 40 species of Neotropical birds, the very ones we value so highly because they come to North America to breed. Our grants to Purdue and Ball State Universities have enabled important research on these breeding birds, resulting in data that will be used to institute better management practices to ensure their survival. By supporting nature-oriented summer camps, educational outreach projects and hands-on local habitat restoration, many more people will come to understand the importance of birds.
This year we lost our longest-running team and one of our top fundraisers, the DNR team. After a stellar 20-year run, members decided it was time to retire. However, a non-birding offspring of one of the team members decided to have a special Big Sit event to carry on the tradition. The Noddy Little Gulls team took top honors as the fundraising champs followed by Bud & Carl’s Legacy team. Our cycling team, Carbon Neutral, placed third. The highest species count turned in by any team was 177 by the Horned Grebes.