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By Jody Allair, Director of Citizen Science and Community Engagement, Birds Canada

On the weekend of October 3-4, members of Team Canucks went out into their local patches to go birding for conservation. For the first time in the history of the Great Canadian Birdathon – one of the most important fundraisers of the year for Birds Canada – we extended the Birdathon season beyond the traditional May event to encompass the entire year. For many people (including me) this was a welcome opportunity to take part in a Big Day fundraiser during fall migration.

One of the ways we will get through these challenging times is to collaborate and help one another. With that goal in mind, 16 people, which included staff and friends of the organization, rallied around the banner of Team Canucks to go birding for conservation and raise much needed funds to help support the work of Birds Canada from coast to coast.

And the response from friends and family has been overwhelming. Thanks to the generosity of donors across Canada and beyond, we’ve managed to raise over $12,000 so far!

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Doug Tozer & fam (the “Tozer Twitchers”) found 73 species near Birds Canada HQ in Port Rowan, ON – all by bike and on foot! Photo: Doug Tozer
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Not all Canadians were in Canada on Birdathon. Pete Davidson checked in from Tanzania with an impressive 140 species! Photo: Pete Davidson

The impact of this Birdathon has extended beyond the funds raised. Many of the team members also diligently recorded observations into eBird Canada, adding to a huge global database that researchers rely on to study bird populations. A total of 329 species recorded over 41 eBird checklists were documented from across Canada, and in Tanzania from Team Canucks member Pete Davidson. If you are a registered eBird user, you can visit this link to view the species breakdown, checklists, and locations of our birding efforts.

Below are some photo highlights of our Birdathon. Thanks again to all who supported Team Canucks in 2020. It’s not too late to donate – please visit our fundraising page at: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/bird-studies-canada/p2p/birdathon20/team/the-canucks/

If you’d like to go birding for conservation yourself, you can do your Birdathon anytime from now through the end of 2020. Get started by signing up at: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/bird-studies-canada/p2p/birdathon20/

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Stu Mackenzie and James Lees teaming up for their Birdathon to help raise funds for Birds Canada’s Long Point Bird Observatory. They rounded up 112 species in the Long Point area alone! Photo: Stu Mackenzie
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Long Point was teeming with late migrants including 19 species of warblers with big numbers of Yellow-rumped Warbler (1,500+) and Northern Parula (100+). Female Black-throated Blue Warbler Photo: Stu Mackenzie
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Squeezing out the final birds at sunset, Big Creek, ON. Photo: James Lees
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Raptor watching with Jody Allair and Jim McCabe from Orkney Viewpoint in Drumheller, AB. Species highlights included a late Sedge Wren, 1000+ Greater White-fronted Geese, and a “Harlan’s” Red-tailed Hawk. They had a total of 66 species recorded at 10 eBird Canada hotspots along the Red Deer river valley. Photo: Jody Allair
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1 of 5 Moose encountered on Birdathon near Drumheller, AB. Photo: Jody Allair
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Graham Sorenson and Kristina Hick Birdathoned entirely by bike! They had a green total of 73 species and 42 kms biked around Ladner and Tsawwassen, BC. Some of their highlights included Whimbrel, Black Oystercatcher, and some very vocal Virginia Rails. Photo: Graham Sorenson
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Yousif Attia, Melissa Hafting, and Ilya Povalyaev at the legendary migratory hotspot, Boundary Bay. They finished their day with 111 species including a rare Black Phoebe. Photo: Yousif Attia
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15 species of shorebirds were recorded on Birdathons in coastal BC, including these Long-billed Dowitcher. Photo: Yousif Attia
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Birds Canada staff from the Atlantic region office in Sackville, NB and their families deserve a shout out for stepping up earlier in September for their fall Birdathon. Photo: Liza Barney
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Looking out at the Port Rowan Harbour is one of Finnley’s favourite spots (for birds and boats). Amanda Bichel ended the day with 79 species in the Long Point, ON area. A few highlights were first of the year White-crowned Sparrows, and three, close Black-bellied Plovers. Photo: Amanda Bichel
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Andrea Gress, Kate Dalgleish, Ruth Friendship-Keller, Natasha Barlow and Grant Davis birded Snyder’s Flats in Bloomingdale, ON. Their group total was 51 species highlighted by killer views of Cooper’s Hawk and Lincoln’s Sparrows. Photo: Kate Dalgleish
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