A team of Manomet banders and former banders won this year’s Bird-a-Thon competition with an impressive total of 205 species.
Each year, Manomet Bird-a-Thon participants count the number of different bird species they see in a 48-hour period. Family, friends, neighbors and co-workers pledge money for each species sighted and the funds support Manomet’s landbird banding and education programs.
This year’s Bird-a-Thon featured four teams and raised more than $5,000 from 47 donors.
“The Bird-a-Thon was a great experience for everyone involved,” said Deb Harrison, who took part in the event on a team drawn entirely from the Board of Councilors, one of Manomet’s governing bodies. “Quite a few Councilors headed out to bird and [Banding Director] Trevor [Lloyd-Evans] stepped up the competition this year, recruiting former banders up and down the East Coast to join the Manomet banding team.”
Birders from California to South Carolina took part in the event, which was held on September 14 and 15. The competition was close between the four participating teams.
The Manomet banding team, which consisted of 11 past and present Manomet banders spread across four eastern states (Massachusetts, Vermont, Delaware and South Carolina), led the charge with their total of 205 species. Highlights included a Lazuli Bunting seen by Ian Davies on Cuttyhunk Island, Massachusetts, and an incredible 29 total warbler species, 25 shorebird species and 11 sparrow species.
Former Manomet bander and shorebird researcher Alan Kneidel covered his new turf in northern Delaware, turning up over 120 species, including 25 species of warbler. Landbird highlights at Middle Run Natural Area included Connecticut, Blue-winged and Golden-winged Warbler, as well as Red-headed Woodpecker, Yellow-billed Cuckoo and Acadian Flycatcher.
Former Manomet bander Mattie Vandenboom spent her Bird-A-Thon weekend on Kiawah Island just off the coast of South Carolina and her contribution included a Wood Stork, Painted Bunting and Wilson’s Plover.
The Manomet Councilors’ team saw participation from 21 people who birded in six states (California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maine and New York) as well as over the Canadian border in Quebec. Noteworthy entries on the team list included Heermann’s Gull, Anna’s Hummingbird and Brewer’s Blackbird, as well as 12 warbler species and 14 shorebird species total. Their final tally was 115 species.
The Atkins/Winkler team finished with a total of 68 species, including California Condor, Grace’s Warbler and Black-headed Grosbeak. The team, composed of Manomet Trustee Natasha Atkins and Cornell ornithologist David Winkler, was visiting southwest Utah and birded in Las Vegas as well as in Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks.
The Manomet Duxbury team spotted a total of 63 species, despite a lack of migrants. Duxbury team entries included Semipalmated Plover, Ruddy Turnstone, Ruby-throated Hummingbird and both a Red-bellied and Downy Woodpecker.
“We are grateful to the many enthusiastic individuals that made this year’s Bird-a-Thon such a success,” Lloyd-Evans said. “Our programs depend on support from individual donors, and the Bird-a-thon is a great way for people to get out birding and have some fun while supporting Manomet’s landbird research and education.”
View each team’s species list here:
– Manomet Staff