What is the Amos Butler Audubon Birdathon?

The Birdathon is the organization’s premier fundraising event. A notice is sent out in early January requesting grant submissions for conservation and education projects. The grant requests which are determined to be the best candidates for fulfilling our mission of “promoting the enjoyment and stewardship of the birds of Central Indiana” are selected for funding. Each year since 1987, teams of avid birdwatchers have conducted a “Big Day” event in the spring to locate as many species as possible in a 24-hour period to raise Birdathon funds. We began with just one team, but now over a dozen participate in this event. Loyal volunteers, who do not participate on a team, also seek Birdathon pledges.

Birdation 2016

Thanks to our generous donors, another successful Birdathon is benefitting the birds of Central Indiana. While this was not a banner year, we raised the Birdathon bucks necessary to fund all of our grant requests. Our grand total of donations and carryover funds amounted to an impressive $33,560. But even more impressive, since 1987 the Birdathon has donated a total of $680,706!  

Your 2016 Birdathon Bucks Benefit the Birds:

Of course the purpose of the Birdathon is to put money to work benefitting the birds of Central Indiana. We are so proud of the following projects and organizations we are supporting in 2016

Your 2016 Birdathon Donations are supporting:

The American Bird Conservancy’s Caribbean Biological Corridor ($15,000)

The American Bird Conservancy (ABC) has brought our attention to a pressing need to acquire a 556-acre parcel of land in an area of Guatemala near its Caribbean coastline. The Sierra Santa Cruz is in the process of becoming the eighth protected area of the biological corridor, but a “clear and present danger” exists in the form of a recently built illegal road, which allows poachers and loggers to enter. ABC’s local partner, Fundación Ecológica (FUNDAECO), which has been working in the area for more than 20 years to conserve the rainforest, took immediate action to buy this parcel and stop the threat. Now ABC has a two-year period to fund the purchase, which costs less than $300 per acre. 

Purdue University ($3,000)

Birdathon will fund a research project titled “Worm-eating Warbler Breeding Demography in South-Central Indiana.” Twenty radio transmitters will be purchased to enable radio tracking of 20 female Worm-eating Warblers, a species of special concern in Indiana. Data gathered will contribute to better understanding of site use during the breeding season. 

Ball State University ($2,996)

Birdathon will fund a research project titled “Habitat use by Fledgling Cerulean Warblers (Setophaga cerulea) in Southern Indiana.” Radio transmitters and geolocators purchased with grant funds will be able to track daily movements of fledglings to determine what habitat types they select. Data obtained from this study will be used to develop forest management practices benefitting Cerulean Warblers.

Central Indiana Land Trust Incorporated ($2,260)

Birdathon will fund the establishment of a bird banding program with the purchase of necessary materials for a MAPS (monitoring avian productivity and survivorship) station.  The goal of the project is to conduct research in central Indiana to educate the community about the importance of birds as an indicator species.

Indiana Raptor Center ($2,000)

Rehabilitators in Columbus. IL Raptor Center have detected high levels of lead in one out of every three Cooper’s Hawks. This raises questions about how contaminated our local environments are, and how many birds are suffering treatable illness connected to environmental poisoning. Indiana Raptor Center will use grant funds to purchase testing equipment for measuring lead presence in wild raptors.

Marian University Nina Mason Pulliam EcoLab ($1,500)

The Nina Mason Pulliam EcoLab has been affected by the loss of ash trees to Emerald Ash Borer. Bird and insect-friendly vegetation will be purchased to help restore these areas. 

Keep Indianapolis Beautiful ($2,000)

A project to showcase and preserve a 200 year-old Chinquapin Oak in the Springdale neighborhood will transform a vacant lot into community greenspace incorporating native plantings and educational signage.

Jameson Camp ($1,000)

An environmental education birding-themed field trip to Jameson Camp as well as a hummingbird garden will be made possible by the Birdathon grant. Jameson Camp will be able to grow their program by serving more youth, introducing them to environmental education, birding, and offering an area in which to watch hummingbirds.

2016 Birdathon Teams Species Counts:

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Birdathon without our teams of intrepid birders, 12 in all this year. Wild Birds Unlimited set a new Birdathon species count record. All teams give up regular meals and sleep to count the birds raising donations to ensure the birds we value so highly will be around for the future. Congratulations to the Bud & Carl’s Legacy team, the 2016 fundraising champs. 

184 Wild Birds Unlimited

181 The Horned Grebes (formerly UIndy)

152 Bud’s & Carl’s Legacy Team, fundraising champs

146 Noddy Little Gulls

135 DNR Team

123 Team Bishop

119 Community Hospital

113 Carbon Neutral

109 Team SeaWeed

80 EcoLab Team

74 The KGB

50 Wren’s Warblers 

Results of the 2016 Birdathon are detailed (pdf) HERE.

Please make your donation for the birds today by clicking HERE.

Birdathon 2015

For over a quarter century, Amos Butler Audubon has been on a mission — a mission to promote the enjoyment and stewardship of the birds of Central Indiana. Birdathon 2015 (ending June 30, 2015) raised $38,770. A record number of 10 grant requests were supported through the generosity of our donors. Once again the Wild Birds Unlimited team took the top spot for most species at 164. The DNR team was our fundraising champ, an honor it has held more than any other team.

Results of the 2015 Birdathon are detailed (pdf) HERE.

Results of the 2014 Birdathon are detailed (pdf) HERE.

Birdathon Grant Guidelines are found HERE.

Contact Amos Butler Audubon Birdathon chair, Donna McCarty for more information,   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Events & Activities

Sunday October 2,
9:00 AM -

Eagle Creek - Bird Hikes

Saturday October 8,
6:30 AM - 1:00 PM

Sparrow Field Trip – Goose Pond FWA

Sunday October 9,
9:00 AM -

Eagle Creek - Bird Hikes

Tuesday October 11,
7:30 PM - 8:30 PM

Gene Stratton-Porter's Birding Legacy

Sunday October 16,
9:00 AM -

Eagle Creek - Bird Hikes

Saturday October 22,
8:00 AM - 1:30 PM

Wetlands Educational Workshop with Jessica Hembold @ Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge

Sunday October 23,
9:00 AM -

Eagle Creek - Bird Hikes

Sunday October 30,
9:00 AM -

Eagle Creek - Bird Hikes

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Our mission is to promote the enjoyment and stewardship of the birds of Central Indiana. We need your donation more than ever. We are especially enthusiastic about the projects to be funded by Birdathon 2016, all of which relate to our chapter’s mission.

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