Migratory Bird Fest & Birdathon

Birdathon Resources

Everything you need to know for a successful Birdathon

Helpful Websites

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Birdathon?

Birdathon is similar to a walkathon, but with a twist – nature lovers count bird species and collect pledges from friends, family, and co-workers. Everyone is a birder – you don’t have to be an expert to participate!  Birdathon  is  about getting  outdoors,  discovering  nature,  involving your community,  and  helping  the  Mitchell Lake Audubon Center.  Free webinars will be provided to help you along the way.

What is Migratory Bird Fest and how are they related?

Migratory Bird Fest is a community festival usually held at Mitchell Lake Audubon Center in May to celebrate spring migration. Mitchell Lake Audubon Center cancelled the festival in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In September, the annual fundraiser for the center, Wine in the Wetlands, was also cancelled. As a result, we have a $30,000 funding gap from not holding those events. Virtual Migratory Bird Fest is our way of holding the festival for the community in a socially distant and safe way. At the same time, holding a Birdathon to raise the funds needed.

Additionally, those who participate as a Birder will receive a free pass to all the virtual workshops and programs associated with Migratory Bird Fest, as well as special access to Mitchell Lake Audubon Center for socially distant birding.

Will Birdathon happen every year?

We hope so! Birdathons are a tradition in the birding community, including historically at Mitchell Lake Audubon Center. Since this is a new event and fundraiser, the more successful it is the more likely it will continue into the future. We will ask you to let us know how your experience was, after the event is over. Your feedback will absolutely contribute to how this event is held in the future.

Does it cost money to sign up for Birdathon?

There is no registration fee to participate. However, we ask you commit to raising at least $100 for Mitchell Lake Audubon Center. If 100 people participate and each raise $100, we are already $10,000 closer to our goal!

Why should I participate in Birdathon?

The funds raised during Birdathon 2021 will support our mission to connect people to nature through community education and conservation, focused on birds and the places they need. Although in-person contact is limited at this time, we continue to provide virtual field trips for hundreds of schoolchildren across San Antonio. It allows us to offer the majority of our public programs and webinars free or at a reduced cost.

A Birdathon gives you the opportunity to give back to Mitchell Lake while doing what you love – birding! For all levels of birder, this gives an opportunity to build your birding skills while giving back. This a great socially distant activity with friends and family, and participate from anywhere! Participate anytime between March 12 and March 30, and your flock may be dispersed across town or across the country.

How do I sign up for Birdathon?

Mitchell Lake Audubon Center is using the RallyUp platform for the Birdathon component of Migratory Bird Fest. RallyUp allows each participant to have their own link and fundraising page to share and track progress. Learn more here.

What if I have a group that wants to participate together?

You can! A group of people participating together is called a “Flock” and has its own competition and prizes.

Can I participate in more than one Flock?

Yes! You can participate in as many "dispersed flocks" as you want.

What if I don’t have a team?

It’s always important to be safe while birding – finding a buddy for socially distanced birding is encouraged. But you are welcome to bird alone – whether in your own neighborhood or a local green space.

How will you know my number of species?

We are asking everyone to enter their sightings into eBird or iNaturalist for verification. You will be asked for your eBird and/or iNaturalist Username during registration, so we can verify the sightings. Sign up for eBird or sign up for iNaturalist if you don't have an account. Don't worry, it's FREE.

How do people donate or pledge?

Mitchell Lake Audubon Center is using the RallyUp platform for the Birdathon component of Migratory Bird Fest. RallyUp allows each participant (you) to have their own link and fundraising page to share and track progress.

What if someone gave me a check/cash as their donation?

First, say THANK YOU! Next, make sure any checks are made out “Mitchell Lake Audubon Center.” Then gather the donations, fill out this online form so we know to expect you, and you can either drop them off directly during open hours, or you can mail them to the center.

Do I have to raise money to participate?

Yes, please. We ask if you register as a Birder, to commit to raising a minimum of $25. And remember – there are prizes for most money raised!

What if I want to donate, but not participate as a birder?

You can do that, too. Just click on the “Make a Pledge” link on our RallyUp Birdathon Webpage, purchase a sponsorship, or simply make a donation online. Do you have a friend or co-worker who is a birder? Offer to sponsor them with a pledge.

Downloadable Resources

How you can help, right now