2023 BirdathonUpcoming Events & News
April 1–May 15, 2023
by Andy Mauro
It’s winter now and the CBCs will be over soon. Do you have an exciting trip to the tropics coming up in the next few weeks? Me neither. But I have found a way to cope with the seasonal angst of short days, cold weather, and hopelessly hunkered-down birds. It’s time to begin planning for the WFO 2023 Birdathon! —Andy
Let’s Do It Again! Who can forget? Back in the fall of 2021, 100 birders representing 17 different teams spread out across the west to record 271 bird species and raise $35,000 to support WFO’s programs. It was a wonderfully successful, fun event. So, what are you doing right now?
Begin to Dream! Go ahead, gather your team around you, pour a beverage of your choice, pass the cookies. It’s time to begin planning for that special day in April or May when all your dreams for WFO glory just might come true! Share some stories about those great birds you saw on your last spring outing and talk about where you should spend your Birdathon day in the field. Should you pick a day in April, or might early May offer better prospects for your big day? We’ve learned that the earlier-forming teams seemed to have the best luck in both sponsorships attracted and birds recorded. Just saying!
More Tailored Features! This year’s Birdathon website will feature a new, easy-to-navigate platform full of enhanced graphics and special features. Each team will now be able to create its own unique team page to best express their personalities. The software is designed to make this easy, but just in case, Jen Hajj will be back to help lend a hand when necessary.
NEW: Signups Begin February 1! The 2023 WFO Birdathon website officially launches on February 1—just follow the link on the WFO website.
More Birds, Less Smoke, Better Weather! All of the reasons behind WFO’s decision to have that first Birdathon back in 2021 still apply, and all the original goals and objectives remain in place. The big question for the WFO Board was whether to schedule this second Birdathon in spring or fall. Spring won out this time around, and it will be interesting to compare the results. Our assignment for this Birdathon will be to try to expand that species list we compiled in the fall of 2021. For the several individual teams that recorded more than 130 species in the fall Birdathon, that could pose an interesting challenge.
“Trikes” Rule! The WFO Board has chosen the Tricolored Blackbird as the signature bird for the 2023 Birdathon. This declining species is in critical need of special attention and an extra measure of support. WFO is underlining this message by dedicating a portion of the money raised in the 2023 Birdathon to help support the Tricolored Blackbird. We are partnering with the Central Valley Bird Club and the Tricolor Working Group to select the specific conservation project that your Birdathon sponsorships will help support.
As part of its conservation mission, WFO played an active role in the campaign that finally led to the CDFW’s official listing of the Tricolored Blackbird as “Threatened” in April 2018. Your participation in the 2023 WFO Birdathon will help provide special financial support as we strive to ensure this species survives the many challenges it faces.
Naturalist and artist John Schmitt has once again donated his original artwork to support the WFO Birdathon. His painting of the Tricolored Blackbird is being used to create the masthead for the Birdathon website and will be featured on the 2023 WFO Birdathon T-shirt.