8th Annual Tim McKay Birdathon
October 1st to October 10th 2023
Supporting the Northcoast Environmental Center
and Redwood Region Audubon Society
Please join in the fun and support two organizations that have the communities back when it comes to environmental threats to our wildlife and their homes. Go birding for a day, keep records of your species list and ask your friends and relatives to help you by contributing a nickel or more per species. That’s a BIRDATHON! We normally hold this event in the spring but both the NEC and RRAS have busy schedules at that time of year so we are shifting to a Fall Birdathon and hope that it fits the participants and our organizations better. (I don’t think the birds mind either way!)
Again, this year’s Birdathon will offer three different categories in which you can participate.
Standard 24 hour “Big Day” style outings. For this category teams of two or more will spend an entire day in the field searching for as many bird species as possible. Each team member will be responsible for obtaining their own pledges for their team and the team leader will coordinate the team’s effort to collect pledges and get them to the NEC.
“Six Hour Blitz. This category is for those teams or individuals that want to limit their search time to six hours. In this group, members will select one day during the count period to spend six continuous hours finding birds either traveling in a vehicle, on a bicycle, walking, or being stationary. As above, team leaders or individuals will have the responsibility to collect pledges and turn them into the contact at the NEC.
Youngest Participants. This category is meant for School students K-12 and would be limited to two hours in duration. Any group of students that form a team and complete the fund-raising portion and then spend at least two hours identifying birds will qualify.
Please log on to the NEC website (yournec.org) to register as an individual or as a team. (Team names are encouraged but not mandatory).
Remember, you can bird from your yard or choose a location to be stationary and as long as you have donors signed up to support your efforts you can qualify as a team. No prizes are offered this year as we found that offering prizes was not an attraction to those groups that signed up last year.
Besides raising much needed funds for these two worthy organizations, the Birdathon honors an environmental hero of this area. This short bio of Tim was written by one of his good friends and fellow environmental stalwarts, Susie VanKirk:
A life-long Californian, Tim McKay—naturalist, writer, scholar, historian, environmental advocate—was executive director of the Northcoast Environmental Center (NEC) in Arcata, California from 1976 until his death in 2006. Under his leadership, the NEC became an influential organization in regional campaigns for Wilderness, ancient forests, and salmon, and locally as the umbrella for every grassroots, “friends of” group that took up the gauntlet as advocates for their home watersheds. He was a man of persistence and unswerving dedication to the ecological complexities and beauties of the natural world. McKay was gifted and had an insatiable drive for knowledge and a mind to match, allowing him to absorb, retain, and use information to successfully advocate for wild places, functioning ecosystems, and their associated fauna and flora. His ability with words, his scholarship, his passion, and an uncanny political savvy transformed a fledgling group of the early environmental movement into a force to be reckoned with, and one that has left its mark across the regional landscape. Often under personal attack, including threatening phone calls, McKay responded as a man confident in his position on the issues, always following his favorite rule-to-live-by: “Endless pressure; Endlessly applied.”