Date: 9/12/17 11:19 am From: Chad Witko <chadjwitko...> Subject: [NHBirds] Report: Antioch Bird Club Birdathon (September 11)
Yesterday, the Antioch Bird Club held its first annual Fall Birdathon fundraiser at Antioch University New England in Keene. The goal of the event was to raise funds for the Antioch Bird Club and to increase awareness on campus to the diversity of bird species that pass through our urban university during any given day. The event started just before dawn at 4:51 AM and lasted until just after sunset, ending at 7:30 PM. All birding was conducted within the eBird hotspot "area" for the school, which is is bound by the natural property boundary of the campus as well as the adjacent bike path and powerline cut that directly borders the campus to the south (~9.5 acres).
During the course of the event, 5 intrepid birders contributed a total of 50-man hours detecting a total of 41 species. This included 1 new species for the property (Pine Warbler), which increased the eBird hotspot total to 103 species, tying it for 15th in Cheshire County (all time). The peak of observations occurred between 4:51 AM and 7:15 AM when a full 25 species were observed. Mid-day saw the total stalled at 35 species for several hours before a final push of activity during the final hour yielded the remaining species.
Highlights included: Great Blue Heron- 2 (flyovers), Broad-winged Hawk- 6 (flyovers mid-day), Common Nighthawk- 18 (first observed at 5:33 PM), Swainson's Thrush- 2 (pre-dawn flyovers), Brown Thrasher- 1 (last bird of the day in fading light along the bike path), Tennessee Warbler- 4 (all seen well at low heights), Northern Parula- 2, Magnolia Warbler- 2, Pine Warbler- 1 (campus first), Wilson's Warbler- 2, Scarlet Tanager- 1, and House Sparrow- 3 (the hardest species to get- not observed until 6:02 PM!).
While we surpassed our target for bird species on the day (40), we fell just shy of our fundraising goal of $10 per species in combined pledges, ending with $8.10 per species. Nevertheless, we are thrilled for the campus-wide support of our small student-run club from students and faculty alike. We are also content in knowing that our birding efforts on campus for 1 day have raised critical funding to help the club with future endeavors including birding field trips for graduate students, the maintenance of our beloved feeder system (and seed!), and habitat enhancement on campus to give breeding, migrating, and wintering birds a small, yet critical patch of habitat in a predominantly urbanized environment.
Good birding, Chad Witko
-- Chad Witko www.chat-happens.com
"I came to believe birds are the most vivid expression of life. It made me aware of the world in which we live." Roger Tory Peterson