Birdathon 2018

birders with bins and scopes

Birdathon 2018

Thank You to all of our teams for another successful year!
What is Birdathon?

The Birdathon is an annual fundraising event that involves all Denver Audubon supporters, their friends, family, co-workers, and others in one of America’s most popular hobbies and the number one sport: bird watching! And the great part is you don’t have to be an expert birder to participate.

3 Ways You Can Participate:


Count birds within a continuous 24 hour period – give or take – and collect pledges from sponsors: friends, family, coworkers, your auto mechanic, businesses, and anyone else you can think of. You don’t have to travel far and wide, and you don’t have to do the full 24 hours on your Birdathon. You can count birds at your feeders over the course of a day, or you can go all out and visit all the parks in Denver region. You choose whether you want to do a marathon Birdathon or just a sprint.

Many teams are heading out in May to locations throughout Denver and beyond. Just give us a call to register for one of those listed below or to sponsor one of these teams. Each team member must raise at least $50 to support their team. Call 303-973-9530 or email for more team details.

Pledge your support to one of the teams that will be out in the field counting birds. Pledges can be based on the number of species you see, or you can pledge a flat amount.

Our 2018 Teams
The Fanatic Fledglings (Staff & Volunteer Team)

Friday, May 11
Team Members: Karl Brummert, Rhonda Shank, Kate Hogan, Emily Hertz, Suzy Hiskey, Carolyn Roark, Betty Glass
Species Counted: 86
The Story: We began our Birdathon at Lair o’ the Bear, then continued to Red Rocks, where we spotted a Great Horned Owl sitting in the rocks near the Trading Post and saw our coveted Lazuli Bunting. Then we went to Prospect Park, where we saw the Rose-breasted Grosbeak and Western Tanager. At Belmar Park we watched the beautiful American Avocets feeding in the lake. We ended our day at Harriman Lake, where we saw the two baby Great Horned Owls nestled on a tree branch, and we spotted a lonely Yellow-headed Blackbird.
Donate to the Fanatic Fledglings

 Hypoxic Featherheads

Saturday, May 12 & Sunday, May 13
Team Members: Diane Hutton, Benny Mullis, Gina Stiles, Penny, and the many loyal team supports that have been with us for many years.
Species Counted: 105 birds
The Story: On Friday May 11, the team traveled to Lamar Colorado to meet up with Gina who was coming up from Texas to join the Birdathon fun.  Yes, we had a lot of fun!  There was laughing, talking, birding, eating and great weather.  We only needed to deal with afternoon winds and a few morning sprinkles.  The team was ready to start but we needed to do a little scouting first.  Our plan was to start the Birdathon on Saturday afternoon and end the 24 hours on Sunday afternoon.

After some scouting Friday afternoon and Saturday morning, we headed to Neenoshe Reservoir to start the clock.  We were chasing some species we had found on Friday afternoon: Marbled Godwit, Hudsonian Godwit, Green Heron, Snowy Plover, Baird’s Sandpiper, Long-billed Dowitcher were a few finds to start us out.  We made a few more stops and then went to Gateway Park in Lamar hoping for a Tundra Swan that had been reported.  We could not find it but added Ross’s Goose and a few more.  Before it got dark, we visited Lamar Community College Woods and added a nice Ovenbird and lots of Mississippi Kites.  This was our planned first stop for the morning.

Happy Mother’s Day morning… no breakfast in bed for Benny or Gina.  Time to hit the road.   Back to the woods we went.  The Northern Cardinal showed off for us, some good warblers made us do the warbler search in the tree tops.  Off to John Martin and Hasty campground.  The campground was full but we had several sparrows and an Orchard Oriole to keep the Bullock’s Oriole company on our list.  We enjoyed a singing Cassin’s Sparrow and its larking had us entertained for awhile. Road JJ was flooded and as we were getting close to noon we headed to Melody Temple Grove to check out some reported sighting.  Here we finally got some great looks at Red-headed Woodpeckers that were drumming.  We didn’t find any of the rare warblers that had been reported but it was afternoon when we arrived.

The clock was ticking… we headed back to nearby Neenoshe.  We added a few more birds, piled into the car when yours truly took another look on the shore.  Is that a bird?  Yes!!!  Everyone but Penny (the dog) got out. Where is the scope?!  That is a Least Tern on the shore.  What a fluke. I had just put the car in drive!!  The tern gave us a great show, it flew so everyone could see how small it is.  We could see the yellow legs, yellow bill, and the white forehead.  This was not our last bird for our list; we added Vesper Sparrow before the clock ran out.

We enjoyed all the birds we found on this Birdathon, and it was a treat to watch them with good friends.  We saw more birds but not in our 24 hour time frame.  South East Colorado is always fun in the springtime.  We finally celebrated Mothers Day with dinner at the Truck Stop.  On Monday morning we slept in.  As Gina would say: We used our eyes all day!  We sent Gina back to Texas and headed back to Denver (birding along the way).  I had 696 miles on my trip counter.

We did as promised.  Now we need you to pledge your support.  Please donate to the Hypoxic Featherheads Birdathon team.  You can make a donation online at the Audubon Society of Greater Denver website. If you would like you can give a check to one of the team members or send it to Denver Audubon at 9308 S. Wadsworth, Littleton CO 80128. We truly appreciate everyone that supports our team.  Yes 105!!!

Donate to Hypoxic Featherheads


Saturday, May 12 & Sunday, May 13
Team Members: Urling & Hugh Kingery
Contact Information: 303-814-2723;
Target: 100 species
The Plan: Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge & Franktown area
Donate to the Kingbirds

Mike’s Magpies

Tuesday, May 15
Team Members: Mike Foster, Dina Baker, Joey Kellner, Inga Brennan
Species Counted: 151
The Plan: Evergreen Lake, Lair o’the Bear, Wheatridge Greenbelt, Belmar Park, Red Rocks, Bear Creek Lake Park, 30 sites in SE Colorado (Lincoln, Cheyenne, Kiowa, Bent, and Prowers Counties).
Donate to Mike’s Magpies

Arsenal Adventurers

Saturday, May 19
Team Members: Kristin Salamack, Michelle Ostrander, Pamela Thomas, Leslie & Wayne Dixon
Contact Information: 518-441-2827;
Target Species Number: 70
The Plan: Meet at the main Rocky Mountain Arsenal Visitor’s Center parking lot at 6:30 AM and spend the day looking for birds along the various woodland, wetland, and prairie trails.
Donate to the Arsenal Adventurers

Colorado Longspurz

Sunday, May 20
Team Members Renee Grier Casias, Jesse Casias, Chris Gilbert, Chris Goulart
Target: 160 species
The Plan: Run for a full 24 hours of birding and see everything in the state. Please feel free to donate per bird or a lump sum.
Donate to the Colorado Longspurz

4 Vets in Search of a Bird

Sunday, May 20
Team Members: Mackenzie Goldthwait, Doug Kibbe, Jeff Dawson, Judy Henderson
Target: 170 species
The Plan: From the foothills to the plains. We encourage challenge pledges, such as $10 for every owl; $5 for every species found before sunrise; $3 for each species photographed. The more original the challenge, the better.
Donate to 4 Vets in Search of a Bird

Green Birdathon

May 20
Team Member and Leader: Kathy Bollhoefer
Target: 50 species
The Plan: Kathy runs the greenest Birdathon: she rides her bike to find the birds!
Donate to Green Birdathon

Dolla, Dolla Bills

Saturday, May 26
Team Members: Brian & Kim Tavernia, Dave & Mariane Erickson, Debby Miller, Alison Hixon
Team Leader: Brian Tavernia
Target: 50 species
The Plan: Castlewood Canyon State Park, Salisbury Equestrian Park, and Cherry Creek State Park
Donate to Dolla, Dolla Bills

All contributions to the Birdathon are tax deductible and support the Audubon Society of Greater Denver. Donations can be based on the number of species seen, or they can be a flat amount.
  • Get your pledges lined up before the day you select to conduct your outing. These may be either as dollars per species or a lump sum. Some donors may even seek to challenge you further, offering extra dollars for every species you find breeding!
  • Plan your outing during any continuous 24 hour period in May for the best weather and to the habitats where you are likely to find a variety of birds.
  • Conduct your tally (species seen or heard only, no need to count individuals) within any period during  May in Colorado.
  • Let your supporters know how you did, and let them share in your excitement while you collect the pledged amounts. Let them know everything you saw, the surprises you found, including the missed “sure bets” you thought you had pinned down, and the excuses you generate en route (e.g “our navigator fell asleep so we were lost for an hour”, “we were so mesmerized by the Bobolink that we couldn’t tear ourselves away”. etc)
  • All pledges are tax deductible and donors will, upon request, be given a receipt.