By: Trevor Lloyd-Evans, Director of Landbird Conservation


The Names—the Places—the Birds—the Supporters:

It’s hard to improve upon last year’s opening thought, so let us just say thank you to all who contributed, supported, and birded during the two days of this fall’s Bird-a-Thon fundraiser to support the research and education programs based in our Banding Lab.  It surely needs repeating—thank you again!


In at least 58 locations around North America, 63 birders set forth individually or in groups including:

Terry’s Duxbury Team 68 species   Flip the Bird 130 species
Saw-whats? 132 species   Evan Dalton 132 species
Manomet Trustees 104 species   Banding Staff (past & present) 410 species
Manomet Councilors 70 species      


GRAND TOTAL 423 SPECIES—See full list here.


Terry’s Duxbury Team birded traditional locations in Marshfield, Plymouth, and Duxbury to honor the memory of our old friend and Manomet Trustee Terry Keleher, while four Saw-whats? outdid themselves this year with birding spots in Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey, locating the only Yellow-throated Vireo this year among their 132 species!


View from the summit of Okemo Mt., VT at dawn. Photo credit: Kent McFarland


In a most friendly rivalry, our Manomet Councilors raised considerably more pledges than the Trustees, while the latter claimed more bird species by travelling to Maine, Cape Cod, Stellwagen Bank, and a fishing spot south of Monomoy Island (multi-tasking).  This added oddments like Brant and Tundra Swan plus a whole slew of useful offshore Atlantic seabirds.  Again folks—there are no losers, just exciting birding discoveries and a worthy cause.  Flip the Bird was the pseudonym for at least 19 Manomet staff, friends, and relatives who vacuumed up species in eastern Massachusetts with a sprinkling of more oddments like White Ibis from Naples, Florida, and a Long-eared Owl near Casco, Maine. 


Lauren’s tent the week after B-A-T in the Goshute Mts., NV.
Photo credit: Lauren diBiccari

Evan Dalton, our Lead Instructor for Landbird Conservation, birded for his own sponsors as well as contributing to the Banders list and wrote his account here of two very long days and mosquito-ridden nights on a flying visit to South Florida, which contributed 26 unique species among the plethora of migrants and southern birds.  Manomet uses the American Ornithologists’ Union checklist of naturally occurring North American species and those introduced with long-established, stable populations—hence Egyptian Goose and Monk Parakeet from Evan.  (We also used the official Bishop Museum list of native and established species for Hawaii.)


An amazing 26 birders of the current and past Banding Lab staff from all decades since the 1980’s offered (or at least agreed with minimal coaxing) to abandon their normal productive lives for some or all of the Bird-a-Thon period to add to the Banders list of species this year.  It was more rewarding to hear back from so many old friends and colleagues than to just pad our bird species list (but we did it anyway).  When Mikayla, on O’ahu, Hawaii, saw an Apapane and Steve on Kaua’i, Hawaii, went out into the night to find Newell’s Shearwater, we knew we were on the right track.  Hannah had a wonderful daughter born that week and recorded Black-billed Magpie in Anchorage, Alaska; while Kayla, who works in Fairbanks, Alaska, visited Denali to record all three species of ptarmigan, Great Gray Owl, and more. 


See the interactive map here to find Nancy (Trumpeter Swan) in British Columbia, Canada; Scarlett (Cactus Wren) in San Diego County, California; Ben (Sabine’s Gull) near Fort Collins, Colorado; Lauren (Ferruginous Hawk) in the Goshute Mountains of Nevada; Jason (Greater Prairie-Chicken) in Spring Creek Prairie, Nebraska.


View from the Goshute Mts., NV.
Photo credit: Lauren diBiccari

Ian on Long Point in Lake Erie, Ontario, hit a wave of migrants; then from Julie (Gray-cheeked Thrush) in Michigan; east to Kent (Bicknell’s Thrush) on Okemo Mountain in Vermont at dawn; all down the Atlantic coast through New England to South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, we covered the fall 2016 migration from top to bottom.


Although any birding competition that is spurred on by sponsors and stimulated by fellow birders is just plain fun (mostly), we are naturally all united by the support we can give to Manomet’s overall goals of involving people in efforts to attain a more thriving world.  This year was also an amazing opportunity to get back in touch with a group of people united by a common science experience at Manomet.  We always marvel at the exciting directions their careers take and the many diverse geographic locations they experience.  A few photographs here are worth far more than words.


Highest Point in FL south of Lake Okeechobee, Jonathan Dickinson State Park, Martin Co., FL.
Photo credit: Evan Dalton


So thank you again to all our sponsors, and also, of course, to all the birders from Steve and Mikayla out in mid-Pacific, to Dean and Dick offshore in the Atlantic.


It’s not too late to support Bird-a-Thon. Click here to see how much we’ve raised and donate now.