Downy Woodpecker

Bird-a-thon Reimagined

Since 1983, Bird-a-thon , Mass Audubon’s largest annual fundraiser and birding competition, has been enjoyed by thousands of dedicated supporters and birders all the while raising over $3 million dollars for our wildlife sanctuaries and programs statewide.

It is very much part of Mass Audubon’s DNA, and we aren’t going to let COVID-19 stop us from having this beloved event. With a little reimagining, this year’s Bird-at-home-a-thon will be more engaging, inclusive, and even carbon-free! Here, we highlight some of this year’s changes.

Downy Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker

How’s the birding different?

In past years, participants would spread out all across Massachusetts in groups of two or more, driving to the best birding spots in their area. This year participants are staying close to home to bird solo or with their household unit.

You’re welcome to bird from your back window, backyard, or a green space within walking or biking distance from your home. Not only will this new guideline keep everyone safe and help prevent the spread of COVID-19, it will also allow us to reduce our carbon footprint. It’s a win-win!

All 26 wildlife sanctuary and program teams will work together to collectively count as many bird species as possible. Birding isn’t so much a team effort, as it’s an organization effort.

What’s this new point system all about?

We’ve introduced a whole new point system this year that will invite more people into the community of birders and nature heroes. You can earn points for your team by birding and also by completing fun, nature-based activities. Drawing a picture of a bird, completing a bird word search, and filling up your bird feeder are just a few of the ways to earn points for your team.

Earning points can be something the whole family can help with, no matter their age or birding level. And based on the total number of points earned by your team, you could all win one of our two new awards!

One thing that hasn’t changed?

The fundraising! Bird-a-thon is still a vital way we raise important funds for our wildlife sanctuaries and programs. We rely on the generosity of our supporters to continue our work in nature conservation, environmental education, and addressing climate change. We can’t do it without you!

Want to join in?

To join a team, make a donation, or learn more, visit

Thank you to our 2020 Bird-a-thon Sponsors!

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