Announcing our 2019 World Migratory Bird Day Birdathon

World Migratory Bird Day 2019 is Saturday, May 11th. The Brooklyn Bird Club celebrates WMBD every year by holding a Birdathon, in which members form or join a team and go out and count bird species. Typically participants reach out to friends and family for donations, usually a set amount per bird species counted during the course of the day.

This year’s designated beneficiary of our annual Birdathon is Save the Choco The Chocó is a biodiversity hotspot and one of the wettest regions of the planet. Only two percent of the remaining lowland Chocó remains in Ecuador, making it one of the most threatened biological hotspots in the world. The region harbors 9,000 species of vascular plants and is one of the most floristically diverse regions in the neotropics. The Chocó is home to about 270 species of mammals, 210 species of reptiles, 800 species of birds and 130 species of amphibians. Many are endemic to the Chocó region, meaning they are not found anywhere else on earth. Many of our migratory birds including the Cerulean Warbler and Summer Tanager winter in the Chocó.

Save the Chocó‘s mission is to build awareness and collaborate with local and global organizations to help protect vital areas and species throughout the region. This year we will be raising money to help Save the Chocó purchase land at $275 per acre to protect it from the palm oil industry and keep it forever wild. The Rain Forest Trust has generously agreed to match our donation up to $100,000, doubling our impact.

Here is a complete list of “our” migratory birds that winter in the Chocó:

Rose-Breasted Grosbeak, Summer Tanager, Blackburnian Warbler, Cerulean Warbler, Swainson’s Thrush, Barn Swallow, Red-Eyed Vireo, Acadian Flycatcher, Western Wood Peewee, Olive Sided Flycatcher, Peregrine Falcon, Broad Winged Hawk, Osprey, Solitary Sandpiper, Spotted Sandpiper, Common Nighthawk.

Bobbi Manian has graciously agreed to organize teams for us again this year, so if you have a team or would like to join a team, please contact her. (Also, she could use a co-director if anyone would be willing to give her a hand.) Please feel free to participate at any level you wish. Some of us like to have a leisurely cup of coffee before setting out for the day and other teams (you know – fanatics) get up before dawn to try and bag an owl or two before the sun comes up – it’s your call.

For those not up for a full day of birding, Cyrus Baty’s Introduction to Birdwatching group will meet at the Boathouse in Prospect Park at noon, and bird for a few hours – all are welcome here without reservation – bring binoculars!

The idea is to have fun and raise some money for a worthy cause on World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) – .

Dennis W Hrehowsik
President, Brooklyn Bird Club