Onondaga Audubon 62nd Annual


Saturday May 16, 2020

Don’t be shy, give the Birdathon a try!

Bird enthusiasts one and all are invited to participate in this year’s Birdathon quest.  Timed to take place at the peak of spring migration, this is the perfect opportunity to go out and find some great birds. Through your participation, you can help document the occurrence of birds in Region 5 of the New York State Ornithologist Association and provide financial support for the important work of Onondaga Audubon, all while enjoying a day of birding.  So, mark your calendar, contact your bird-watching teammates, and start making plans for Birdathon!

How Birdathon Works

Date and Time: Go afield on Saturday, May 18th for as many (or as few) hours as desired between midnight and midnight  — no rain date!

Boundaries: Anywhere you like within Jefferson, Lewis, Onondaga, Oswego, Madison, Oneida and Herkimer Counties, plus Cayuga County north of Route 31.

Teams: Join another, form you own, or go solo. No assigned territories.  Please car pool, and bird one place at a time — no splitting up!

Count: Carefully identify species by sight and/or ear — the honor system please!

Fund-raising: Lining up sponsors (flat donations or so much per species) is optional, but definitely encouraged!

Bird List Deadline: Submit your results by 11:00 am Sunday, or bring them to the day-after compilation picnic at Derby Hill, Sunday at 4:00 p.m..

Final Bird Results: Birding and fundraising results will appear in The Kestrel newsletter and on the Onondaga Audubon website.

Dollars Deadline: Turn in to Birdathon Coordinator by June 15.

Records to Beat

Most Participants – 43 teams, 116 members (1999)
Most Money Combined – $7,500 (2001)
Most Money for a team – $1472 (2017)
Most Species Combined – 209 (2011)
Most Species for a team – 158 (2013)

Here are the details for the 2019 Event:

What’s New?

We will try out the “Yard List” category again, and see how it goes.  We define the yard as less than one fourth of a square mile (160 acres), and including your residence (house, apartment, camp, etc).  The intent is to create a more level playing field for stay-around-home birders, so the size of the yard is somewhat limited in size, and the location is constrained to prevent cherry picking on where to bird.

Here are printable PDFs of 2019 participant information materials

2019 Birdathon Announcement
Species Checklist
Fund Raising Tips
Sponsor pledge sign-up sheet
Remittance Sheet

Where & When?

Birdathon 2020 will take place over the entire 24 hours of Saturday, May 16th, that is, from midnight to midnight. You may bird anywhere in the counties of Jefferson, Lewis, Onondaga, Oswego, Madison, Oneida, Herkimer, and Cayuga to the north of Route 31. If you’re not sure whether a place you want to bird is within the boundary, please call or e-mail us.  Team members have to bird together — no splitting up.


Please get in touch with us prior to the event to let us know that you will be participating.  We will need your team name, member names, address, a telephone number and an E-mail address to which we can send the computerized reporting form.  This form makes reporting easy and greatly simplifies the tally.  Contact us at:

The traditional day-after compilation picnic will be on Sunday, May 16 at 4:00 p.m. at the north lookout at Derby Hill. Please bring a dish to pass, and your own place settings and drinks. There, we will learn who takes custody of the coveted Clark(e)’s Nutcracker for the Best Bird, and we will again recognize teams for finding the most species in the three categories of Overall, Low Carbon Footprint, and Yard List.


If you aren’t attending the compilation picnic, you will need to provide your counts prior to 11:00 a.m. Sunday to be included in the awards.  Call us to make arrangements if you think you will have trouble making this deadline.  For those attending the picnic, counts may be reported in advance or revealed at the picnic.

Funds raised are due by June 15, but late funds will be gladly accepted through July 31 for credit toward this year’s event.

If your donors contribute on-line thru the Onondaga Audubon website, be sure to report the gift to us so that your team will be credited.

Sign up now for this exciting bird-watching event and help support Onondaga Audubon’s LOCAL education and bird sanctuary priorities.

Jonathan Kresge
Birdathon Coordinator
3426 Burnet Avenue
Syracuse, NY  13206

 (315) 308-0029  Home