Annual Birdathon

Team Baldpate's happy birders with Birdathon leader Tyler Christensen at Baldpate, May 2016
Team Baldpate with leader Tyler Christensen finished with 76 species. Highlights included 19 species of warblers, several Swainson’s Thrushes, and an amazing show put on by a pair of Yellow-billed Cuckoos. Check out these happy birders!

Birdathon ’21 is just around the corner—the Big Day is May 15th but events will be happening throughout the month of May!

Get outdoors and bird to help raise money for WCAS’s education, research and conservation efforts!

  • Our “Big Day” this year is Saturday MAY 15 and this is your chance to compete for the 1st Annual WCAS Cup! To enter, register yourself or your team and find as many species of birds as you can between 12:00 am and 11:59 pm on May 15th in the NJ counties that are completely or partly within our chapter area – Mercer, Hunterdon, Somerset and Burlington. Feel free to ask family and friends to sponsor you or your team with pledges per species seen to spur you on to greater effort! Minimum requested donation to register $25.
  • NEW! Family Weekend Challenge: gather family and friends and go birding wherever you happen to be on May 15 and/or 16th —your backyard, neighborhood park or even Grandma’s house! Email us your list of the birds you were able to identify and the ages of any children under 13 in the party. Min. requested donation $10
  • Prizes will be awarded for Most Bird Species Identified and Most MoneyRaised for WCAS for those who have pre-registered in each event. You may also register by regular mail — WCAS, P.O. Box 112, Pennington, NJ 08534-0112.
  • DIY: Just want to spend a relaxed few hours birding by yourself or with friends? We still want your bird list for May 15th!  Go out on your own or with a team and ask your friends and family to support your efforts with a donation or per-species pledge. Email your list to [email protected]  Remit collected donations through the secure Donation sign-up link in this email or mail a check to WCAS, P.O. Box 112, Pennington, NJ 08525 by June 1.  Thank you!

Join a special small-group guided walk on 5/15Covid guidelines will be observed:

  • South Hunterdon Birding with Juanita Hummel on 5/15 – only a few spots left. Join for all or part of the day, AM or PM.  The complete itinerary will be emailed to participants before the event. Min. requested donation $25. For more information email [email protected]
  • Mercer Meadows including the Pole Farm on 5/15 at 7:30 AM lead by Pole Farm grasslands birds monitor Jim Myers. Park at the Maidenhead Trail parking lot on Keefe Road (just past Federal City Road) at 7:30 am on Saturday. Min. requested donation $25. For more information email [email protected]

  • DONATE ONLY or submit collected pledges:  Even if you can’t participate in one of our events on May 15th, please consider making a donation.  “Sign up” to donate using the secure donation slot in this email up until June 1. Alternatively, you can mail a check to WCAS, P.O. Box 112, Pennington, NJ 08534-0112.  Thank you for your support – it means everything to us!

WCAS is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and donations are tax deductible as allowed by law.

Birdathon Blackburnian
Team Baldpate led by Tyler Christensen (left) found a male Blackburnian Warbler like this one!

BIRDATHON 2018 REPORT

On May 12, 2018, twelve teams of intrepid birders braved the threat of rain and went out to count birds for Birdathon ’18 in a variety of places and habitats. Areas covered included sites in the Sourlands (Baldpate, Hollystone , Fiddler’s Creek by Sharyn and Tyler, Amwell Lake, Omick Woods, Cedar Ridge Preserve by Juanita) and the Featherbed Lane banding station at Sommer Park Preserve (Hannah); the Pole Farm (Fairfax); Brig and Tuckerton (Brad); Institute Woods (the Spars); Assunpink (John Maret and Team Beck); South Branch WMA and Skillman area (the Youngs); parts of Plainsboro, Montgomery and the Griggstown Grasslands (Barbara and Tom); Duke Farms (Tim Brown); Bull’s Island, Bowman’s Hill and Lambertville area (Franta); Curliss Lake Woods (Mark Witmer).

A total of 161 species was seen by those who submitted lists, including 27 warblers and a yellow-breasted chat. Five species were seen by everyonethose were Red-bellied Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Blue Jay, Am. Robin and Gray Catbird. Another seven species appeared on all but one list (not always the same one list) – Great Crested Flycatcher, Wood Thrush, Common Yellowthroat, Song Sparrow, N. Cardinal, Red-winged Blackbird and Brown-headed Cowbird.

Six of the twelve lists featured at least one of 51 unique species (i.e., not reported by any others). I had one (Broad-winged Hawk, nesting near my house), as did Mark Witmer (Solitary Sandpiper). Fairfax Hutter had three (Blue Grosbeak, Grasshopper Sparrow and Least Flycatcher), Sharyn Magee and Tyler Christensen had four (Hooded Warbler, Kentucky Warbler, Alder Flycatcher, Yellow-billed Cuckoo).   John Maret had five (Yellow-breasted Chat, Ruddy Duck, Pine Warbler, Belted Kingfisher and Common Loon). Franta Broulik had eight (Common Merganser, Common Raven, Purple Finch, Wilson’s Warbler, Yellow-throated Warbler, Cliff Swallow, Common Nighthawk and Barred Owl). Brad Merritt claimed the remaining 29 unique species, a wonderful selection of shore and water birds.

The leaders of the top three teams in terms of total number of species tallied were:

1) John Maret (95)     2) Brad Merritt (89) 3) Franta Broulik (87)

SPECIAL SECTION – Icelandic bird list

Andrew Bobe submitted the following list of unique birds. While he was in not able to be in the NJ/PA area on Birdathon Day, he was still counting!

Graylag Goose, Whooper Swan, Rock Ptarmigan, Eurasian Shag, Common Snipe, Common Redshank, Eurasian Oystercatcher, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Great Skua, Redwing, White Wagtail, Eurasian Blackbird.

Great job, everyone!

164 Species from Birdathon 2016

  1. Cormorant, Double-crested
  2. Heron, Great Blue
  3. Heron, Green
  4. Heron, Black-crowned Night (t)
  5. Egret, Great
  6. Egret, Snowy
  7. Ibis, Glossy
  8. Swan, Mute
  9. Goose, Canada
  10. Duck, Wood
  11. Duck, American Black
  12. Duck, Ruddy
  13. Mallard
  14. Merganser, Common
  15. Vulture, Black
  16. Vulture, Turkey
  17. Osprey (t)
  18. Eagle, Bald (e/t)
  19. Hawk, Cooper’s
  20. Hawk, Red-tailed
  21. Hawk, Broad-winged
  22. Harrier, Northern (e)
  23. Kestrel, American (t)
  24. Kite, Mississippi
  25. Pheasant, Ring-necked
  26. Turkey, Wild
  27. Rail, Clapper
  28. Rail, King
  29. Rail, Virginia
  30. Oystercatcher, American
  31. Plover, Black-bellied
  32. Plover, Semipalmated
  33. Killdeer
  34. Yellowlegs, Greater
  35. Yellowlegs, Lesser
  36. Willet
  37. Sandpiper, Spotted
  38. Sandpiper, Solitary
  39. Turnstone, Ruddy
  40. Knot, Red (e)
  41. Sanderling
  42. Sandpiper, Least
  43. Sandpiper, Pectoral
  44. Sandpiper, Semipalmated
  45. Dunlin
  46. Dowitcher, Short-billed
  47. Dowitcher, Long-billed
  48. Woodcock, American
  49. Gull, Laughing
  50. Gull, Herring
  51. Gull, Great Black-backed
  52. Tern, Forster’s
  53. Tern, Least (e)
  54. Skimmer, Black (e)
  55. Dove, Rock (Pigeon)
  56. Dove, Mourning
  57. Cuckoo, Black-billed
  58. Cuckoo, Yellow-billed
  59. Owl, Great Horned
  60. Whip-poor-will
  61. Swift, Chimney
  62. Hummingbird, Ruby-throated
  63. Kingfisher, Belted
  64. Woodpecker, Red-headed (t)
  65. Woodpecker, Red-bellied
  66. Woodpecker, Downy
  67. Woodpecker, Hairy
  68. Flicker, Northern
  69. Woodpecker, Pileated
  70. Pewee, Eastern Wood
  71. Phoebe, Eastern
  72. Flycatcher, Acadian
  73. Flycatcher, Willow
  74. Kingbird, Eastern
  75. Martin, Purple
  76. Swallow, Tree
  77. Swallow, Northern Rough-winged
  78. Swallow, Cliff
  79. Swallow, Barn
  80. Jay, Blue
  81. Crow, American
  82. Crow, Fish
  83. Chickadee, Black-capped
  84. Chickadee, Carolina
  85. Chickadee, Hybrid (BCxC)
  86. Titmouse, Tufted
  87. Nuthatch, White-breasted
  88. Wren, Carolina
  89. Wren, House
  90. Wren, Marsh
  91. Kinglet, Ruby-crowned
  92. Gnatcatcher, Blue-gray
  93. Bluebird, Eastern
  94. Veery
  95. Thrush, Gray-cheeked
  96. Thrush, Swainson’s
  97. Thrush, Wood
  98. Robin, American
  99. Catbird, Gray
  100. Mockingbird, Northern
  101. Thrasher, Brown
  102. Waxwing, Cedar
  103. Starling, European
  104. Vireo, White-eyed
  105. Vireo, Solitary (Blue-headed)
  106. Vireo, Yellow-throated
  107. Vireo, Warbling
  108. Vireo, Red-eyed
  109. Warbler, Blue-winged
  110. Warbler, Bay-breasted
  111. Warbler, Blackpoll
  112. Warbler, Black-and-white
  113. Warbler, Blackburnian
  114. Warbler, Black-throated Blue
  115. Warbler, Black-throated Green
  116. Warbler, Canada
  117. Warbler, Cerulean
  118. Warbler, Chestnut-sided
  119. Warbler, Hooded
  120. Warbler, Magnolia
  121. Warbler, Nashville
  122. Warbler, Pine
  123. Warbler, Prairie
  124. Warbler, Prothonotary
  125. Warbler, Yellow
  126. Warbler, Yellow-rumped
  127. Warbler, Yellow-throated
  128. Warbler, Wilson’s
  129. Warbler, Worm-eating
  130. Ovenbird
  131. Parula, Northern
  132. Redstart, American
  133. Waterthrush, Louisiana
  134. Waterthrush, Northern
  135. Yellowthroat, Common
  136. Chat, Yellow-breasted
  137. Tanager, Scarlet
  138. Tanager, Summer
  139. Cardinal, Northern
  140. Grosbeak, Rose-breasted
  141. Bunting, Indigo
  142. Towhee, Eastern (Rufous-sided)
  143. Sparrow, Chipping
  144. Sparrow, Field
  145. Sparrow, Savannah (t)
  146. Sparrow, Grasshopper (t)
  147. Sparrow, Saltmarsh
  148. Sparrow, Seaside
  149. Sparrow, Song
  150. Sparrow, Swamp
  151. Sparrow, White-crowned
  152. Sparrow, White-throated
  153. Bobolink (t)
  154. Blackbird, Red-winged
  155. Meadowlark, Eastern
  156. Grackle, Boat-tailed
  157. Grackle, Common
  158. Cowbird, Brown-headed
  159. Oriole, Baltimore (Northern)
  160. Oriole, Orchard
  161. Finch, House
  162. Goldfinch, American
  163. Sparrow, House
  164. Baldpate Picking Flicker 😉