Date: 4/20/17 5:46 am From: Butch Tetzlaff <butchchq8...> Subject: 2nd Annual Arkansas Big Day Challenge - Note#2
Upon seeing the note I sent earlier about the Big Day Challenge (hereafter renamed to the Arkansas Big Day Challenge), several people jumped on board and said they would like to participate and monetarily contribute to their favorite local bird related causes. I am glad to hear of your enthusiasm! Let's spread it around!
Here is a little more information as questions have been asked:
Background: Last year, several of us went out and birded Northwest Arkansas (in groups or as individuals), tallied up all the birds we saw, and contributed various amounts of money based on that to the Mullhollan Bird Blind Fund established by NWA Audubon. This year, I decided to suggest it to a wider audience (the entire state) to encourage people to do the same for the own local bird related causes.
Arkansas Big Day Challenge (2nd annual)
Purpose: To celebrate and enjoy searching for as many species of birds that you can find in one day (or part of a day) either as a group or as an individual. The goal is to challenge yourself and have some fun.
Real Purpose: To financially contribute to local bird related causes that will help Arkansas birds and bird awareness continue to thrive.
When: Anytime between May 1 and May 13, which is the official day for International Migratory Bird Day.
Where: Anywhere within the state of Arkansas. You can stay in your own backyard, go to a park or nature preserve, or travel to multiple locations anywhere in the state that you think would be a good place to find birds.
How: Set a contribution pledge for yourself of some amount per species seen. Then contribute to your favorite local bird related cause based on that number of birds you find. For example, if you pledge 25 cents per species and you see 100 species, then you would contribute $25 to your favorite local bird related cause.
I stress local bird related cause, because proportionally, small local causes will benefit more from small contributions than will national organizations. Nothing against the national organizations (I contribute to these, too), but local things like student research or the Mulhollan Bird Blind are wonderful ways to help birds in our own "backyards" that will never see national funding.
Who: You can go out in a group (large or small) or as an individual. The point is to just have some fun and challenge yourself. The first year I ever did a Big Day, I had no idea where to go, made a simple plan, and found 77 species. The next year, I had a better idea of how to go about it and found 91. This year, I hope to find 100 species in a 12 hour period. I plan to donate the money to the research funds that support Mitchell Pruitt and Alyssa DeRubeis's graduate student research on Saw-whet Owls and grassland birds, both of whose projects are located here in Arkansas.