What is the Amos Butler Audubon Birdathon?
The Birdathon is the organization’s premier fundraising event. Since 1987, we have annually sought grant applications for conservation and education projects that best fulfil our mission of "promoting the enjoyment and stewardship of the birds of Central Indiana.” Each spring, teams of avid birdwatchers have conducted a “Big Day” event to locate as many species as possible in a 24-hour period to raise funds. It began with just one team; now, a dozen teams participate. Loyal volunteers, who do not participate on a team, also seek Birdathon pledges. Since 1987, the Birdathon has collectively raised more than a half million dollars!
We are enthusiastic about sponsoring a variety of projects through our 2013 Birdathon, all of which will help fulfill our mission of “promoting the stewardship and enjoyment of the birds of Central Indiana.” These projects will preserve or enhance habitat, gather important research data, or provide an enriching educational experience. Following is a list of the 2013 grant recipients.
American Bird Conservancy
- Grant will build on the success of preserving high-priority winter habitat for the Cerulean Warbler and 27 other species of North American migratory birds. The funds will be used for: securing five additional conservation easements, conducting conservation research, sponsoring a migratory bird festival, enhancing corridor lands (plant nursery, trail building, monitoring), and obtaining Smithsonian Bird Friendly certification for the shade-grown coffee farms. [Note: the photo on the front page is of Pauxi Pauxi Reserve in Colombia where much of our tropical effort has been directed over the last several years.]
According to ABC’s Rita Fenwick, this project, which we have been involved in since 2008, has been “successful beyond our wildest expectations.”
Amos Butler Audubon
- Grant will fund several projects including the Wings Over Indy Chimney Swift tower at Holliday Park, education promoting greater appreciation and awareness of birds to elementary students of Central Indiana (with a specific focus on underserved youth), and continuation of the bird survey of Eagle Creek Park.
Eagle Creek Park Ornithology Center
- Grant will fund the remodeling of the outdoor raptor cages at the Eagle Creek Park Ornithology Center. This will enable outdoor display of three bird species: Red-tailed Hawk, Red-shouldered Hawk, and Screech Owl, enriching the visitor experience as well as the birds’ environment.
Marian University Nina Mason Pulliam EcoLab
- Grant will fund continuation of bird-friendly habitat restoration. Volunteers will plant understory grasses, sedges, wildflowers, and shrubs in the farthest north section of the EcoLab, where honeysuckle and other invasive shrubs were removed in 2008.
Two Ball State University Research Projects
Cerulean Warbler Habitat Selection
- Grant will fund items needed to build broadcast systems suspended from trees to determine the importance of social cues in the birds’ selection of nesting habitat.
Cerulean Warbler Offspring Diet in Relation to Nesting Phenology
- Grant will purchase a high-quality camera to enable the identification of prey items of the Cerulean Warbler.
Keep Indianapolis Beautiful (KIB)
- Grant will fund habitat restoration in Barton Park along Fall Creek involving removal of invasive species and planting native trees that serve to enhance the natural habitat of a local riparian corridor.
Indiana Raptor Center
- Grant will fund the purchase of equipment for use in intensive-care raptor rehabilitation, including two incubators and air compressor/nebulizer/humidifier attachments. This organization presents approximately 130 educational programs every year.
- Grant will purchase feeders and field guides to use in the Children’s Garden for environmental education programs.
- Grant will purchase a variety of items including bird feeders, field guides, flashcards, posters, and six pairs of binoculars, enabling young students to learn about the art and importance of birding.
2013 Birdathon Teams:
Bud & Carl’s Legacy Team
Carbon Neutral Team
Cool Ponds Team
Community Hospital Team
Team IYBC (Indiana Young Birders Club)
Kara’s Kids Team
Noddy Little Gulls Team
Wild Birds Unlimited Team
Results of the 2012 Birdathon are summarized HERE.
Results of the 2011 Birdathon are summarized HERE.
Birdathon Grant Guidelines are found HERE.
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Lights Out Indy
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