In 1979, that’s 36 years ago, Landbird Banding Director Trevor Lloyd-Evans was brainstorming ways to raise funds and awareness for the Banding Lab. Drawing on the traditions of his native Britain, Lloyd-Evans suggested a Bird-a-Thon. Almost four decades later, the Bird-a-Thon continues as one of the Banding Lab’s enduring traditions.
This year, September 12th & 13th, individuals and teams will bird for up to 48 hours, wherever and however they want, identifying as many species as they can—by sight or by sound. Anyone can participate. You might not record very many species if you can only identify robins and cardinals, but it will surely be fun and absolutely for a great cause.
Bird-a-Thon benefits the Banding Lab. Starting in 1969, every April through mid-June, Manomet has welcomed spring banders and interns, and fall banders and interns from mid-August to mid-November, where they reside at Manomet headquarters. By the way, the fall banders will likely be the Bird-a-Thon team to beat! Since the Banding Lab’s inception, 500 banders and interns have recorded the data on approximately 373,000 landbirds.
This long-term dataset improves our ability to understand and address changes in landbird populations over time. Our observations of shifting ranges and migration timing indicate that climate change is actively impacting the bird communities around us.Manomet scientists and banders host numerous school groups each season, teaching them about migratory birds and the impacts of climate change. With more than a thousand visitors coming through the program each year, the Banding Lab works with schools and other research organizations to connect people to nature.
You can support the Banding Lab by participating in Bird-a-Thon as a birder or sponsor. As a birder, you can participate as an individual or a team. Any which way you Bird-a-Thon, it’s sure to be a feel-good time.
Anyone donating or raising $250 or more gets a limited edition Bird-a-Thon t-shirt. And this year you can Bird-a-Thon online! Learn more and sign up at Manomet.org/bird-thon