Audubon Florida celebrates Earth Day with Birdathon

TALLAHASSEE — Birders across the nation are currently experiencing the wonders of spring bird migration, and Audubon Florida has announced its annual, state-wide Birdathon for 2020, on April 22-29. Audubon has hosted this event as a staff competition in years past, but this year, everyone is encouraged to enjoy birding together — even when they are physically apart.

“While many of Florida’s natural areas are essentially closed to people, the wildlife is still doing its thing,” said Julie Wraithmell, Audubon Florida executive director. “In times like these, birds can bring out the best in us.”

On April 22, Audubon Florida staff members are charged with setting the bar for this year’s Birdathon. Because social distancing and self-isolation remain critically important, only the birds sighted out their windows or in their yards may be counted. Pledges per species spotted are being collected here.

This year, in honor of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, contestants around the state are encouraged to participate from April 22-29, also from their back yards and windows. They can report the species of birds they see each day on Audubon Florida’s Google form. Each day a birder submits a report counts as a new entry to win fun prizes. Participants under 12 can submit observations with the help of a parent and are entered to win species prizes in the youth category. All rules of ethical birding apply.

Birdathon entries will be tallied daily and shared on Audubon Florida’s Facebook page, and announced via press release. Prizes include a print of choice from local artist Kristen Summers, a 16 x 20 canvas spoonbill print from celebrated nature photographer R.J. Wiley, or an Everglades book by National Geographic Explorer Mac Stone.

Audubon Florida continues to protect the places birds need to survive and thrive, even during the coronavirus outbreak. Support us by making a Birdathon pledge!

For a full list of rules, more information about pledges, and prize details, visit Fl.Audubon.org/Birdathon.

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