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Birdathon Fundraiser
Stay tuned for updates on our 2016 Birdathon fundraiser!

Each spring, local birding teams compete to find the most species of birds in one day to fundraise for bird conservation. Birdathon contributions support the Cerulean Warbler Reserve in Colombia, South America. The reserve was established by Pro Aves, a Colombian conservation organization dedicated to acquiring land and establishing bird sanctuaries across the country to protect critical habitat for our local neotropical migrants on their wintering grounds. In 2015 you helped us raise almost $7,000! A $400 scholarship was awarded to a UNC Asheville Environmental Studies student. The balance was donated to the Cerulean Warbler Reserve in Colombia, South America.
*Birdathon donation form*
Wood thrush
What is it?
A Birdathon involves teams of birders trying to see (and hear) as many species of birds as possible within a set time period. This can mean either spending the day watching feeders, walking around the local bird sanctuary or even organizing teams to scour our region for birds. Money is raised by donors either sponsoring a team for a certain dollar amount per bird or by simply donating a fixed amount. Each team generally counts between 110 and 120 species in a given day. The list of birds seen will be posted on the EMAS website after the teams have completed their Birdathon.
As teams are trying to see as many species as possible, it's best to run the Birdathon during spring migration season and the chosen window is usually from the middle of April through the middle of May. Teams can run their Birdathon whenever they wish during this time period.
Who benefits?
This year Elisha Mitchell Audubon is supporting an effort by the American Bird Conservancy and the National Audubon Society to help reforest and preserve habitat in Nicaragua - specifically the Reserva El Jaguar. Read more about the Reserva El Jaguar. The primary objective of the project is to increase habitat connectivity in the highlands of the Jinotega province for the Wood Thrush, the Golden-winged Warbler and other one-tropical migrant.
Habitat deforestation in Nicaragua poses the most significant threat to resident and migratory birds. The forested highlands of Jinotega in northern Nicaragua are becoming increasingly fragmented as agriculture, including sun-coffee production creeps up the mountain sides. Coffee grown as a shade-crop provides important habitat for many species of neo-tropical migrants. The Reserva El Jaguar project focuses on improving habitat connectivity in the Volcan de Yali corridor through reforestation and planting of trees on coffee plantations. Reserva El Jaguar is a private family-run farm that produces high quality, shade-grown sustainable coffee while maintaining the integrity of over 240 acres of protected cloud forest that surround the farm. Owners George Duriaux and his wife Liliana Chavarria have actively monitored birds there for many years and report over 300 bird species on their land. Reserve El Jaguar was declared an important Bird Area in 2006 by BirdLife International. EMAS is proud to support this project.
Reserva El Jaguar
The EMAS board believes that investing the proceeds of Birdathon into the Reserva El Jaguar will bring the most conservation "bang for the buck."
In addition, $1,000 raised by Birdathon goes to our EMAS Scholarship, given each year to a UNCA Environmental Studies student, to assist toward a viable, effective career dedicated to environmental salvation.
Team information for Birdathon 2016 can be found below.

Not So Common Loons (led by Jay Wherley)
Team members: Tom Bush, Luke Cannon, John Koon, Jay Wherley
Peregrines (led by Simon Thompson)
Team members: Clifton Avery, Kevin Burke, Aaron Steed, Simon Thompson, Emilie Travis
Beaver Lake Bluebirds (led by Tom Tribble)
Team members: Jamie Harrelson, Marianne Mooney, Tom Tribble
Birdathon team
There are several ways you can donate:

Click on the "Donate" button below. There, you can use a credit card or Paypal account. To sponsor a particular Birdathon team, click on "How do you want your donation spent?" (located on the Review Your Donation page) and enter the team's name.

Mail a check with the Birdathon donation form to:
PO Box 18711
Asheville, NC 28814

To pledge an amount for each bird species counted by a particular team, fill out the Birdathon donation form and mail it to the address above. After the species totals are in, we'll let you know how many species your team counted.

Attend the EMAS May program, which has a suggested donation that goes directly to Birdathon.
Cerulean Warbler
EMAS mission statement

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