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Spring Birdathon: How to Participate in 2015

|Actions to Participate | Rules and Definitions |

Take These Actions to Participate

  1. Review dates in the Birdthon Calendar (including Guided Birdathon Team descriptions). The date summary for 2015:
    • Register for a team: Beginning in February
    • Kick-off party: March 12 at 6:30 pm
    • Birdathon Window: March 28 to April 26
    • Results Submission Deadline: May 12 at 5 PM
    • Birdathon Awards Dinner: June 9 at 6 PM
  2. Join a Team and Register Online
    • Register at least one week prior to your birdathon day for our prearranged Guided Teams or your own Self-Guided Teams.
    • Find descriptions of Guided Teams in the calendar.
    • If you register early, we will add your name to the participant list to receive online sponsor donations.
    • If you join multiple teams, when you register let us know which one team to credit the bulk of your sponsor donations to and we will automatically credit the $50 minimum to each of your other teams.
    • Team Leaders should ensure that all their team members register online.
  3. Request Pledges
    • You must raise at least $50 for each team you join. We hope you will solicit many donations, but you can also sponsor yourself to meet this minimum.
    • Don't feel discouraged if you can only raise a small amount. We greatly appreciate all donations - no matter how small - they quickly add up to a significant amount!
    • Your sponsors can donate online, and also by check sent to SCVAS Headquarters. We save hefty online payment fees if they donate by check!
    • Please ensure that your name is marked on all your donations so you can be credited.
    • Ask your employer if they will match your donation.
    • Be creative! Read our many pledge hints that will help maximize your pledges.
    • If you want, use our sample pledge ask letter (PDF or editable MS Word) to send to your potential sponsors.
    • If you want, track your pledges on our sample pledge tracking sheet (PDF or editable MS Excel) or on your own sheets. We will notify you of all sponsor donations received online so you can track them.
  4. Go Birding
    • Count or photograph bird species with your team on your birdathon day within the Birdathon Window (dates listed at the top).
    • Follow the Birding Rules listed below.
  5. Collect Donations
    • Collect all pledged donations from your sponsors.
    • SCVAS will send a thank-you letter to your donors if we receive their address. You can also send your own using our sample letter (PDF or editable MS Word).
    • Consider sending a trip report to your sponsors - they love reading abnout your birdathon day. If they made a per species pledge, this is a great time to tell them how many species you saw and remind them of their pledge.
  6. Submit Your Results
    • For each team that you join, please submit an individual Results Form (PDF or editable MS Word), donations collected, and pledge tracking sheets.
    • Only Results Forms submitted before the Results Submission Deadline (date listed at the top) will determine all prize winners.
    • Please submit your Results Form(s), no matter how little you raise, so we can calculate all team totals.
  7. Potentially Win a Valuable Prize
    • Patronize our generous prize sponsors and please mention that you heard about them through our Birdathon.
    • Within a couple weeks after the Results Submission Deadline (date listed at the top), the Birdathon Committee will notify the individuals (by phone or email) who raised the most money so they can select a prize from our special prize list.
    • Prize Award Categories are listed below.
  8. Attend Awards Dinner
    • Prizes will be handed out at the Awards Dinner (date listed at the top) held at McClellan Ranch Preserve.
    • If you cannot attend the dinner, please make your own arrangements to pick up your prize at the SCVAS office after the dinner.
    • The dinner features free food and refreshments, prize display and announcements, games, surprises, raffles, and fun for all!
    • Birdathon team members, prize sponsors, and donors are welcome to attend.

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Rules and Definitions

  1. Eligibility
    • Anyone can participate, including SCVAS members and non-members; Birdathon Committee members; volunteers; SCVAS staff and members of the Board of Directors.
    • Although SCVAS staff and members of the Board of Directors can participate, they are prohibited from receiving any Most Money Prizes; if they do place in the competition, their alloted prize will go to the next eligible participant.
    • SCVAS staff and members of the Board of Directors are eligible to win raffles and other game prizes at the Awards Dinner.
  2. Team Categories
    • All Team Categories identify or photograph species in one contiguous time interval that encompasses all activities (counting, photographing, driving, walking, biking, eating, breaks, etc.).
    • Photos should not be submitted.
    • Team Categories
      • 24-Hour Counter's - Identify birds between 4- and 24-hours.
      • 24-Hour Photography - Photograph birds between 4- and 24-hours.
      • 4-Hour Counter's - Identify birds between 0- and 4-hours.
      • 4-Hour Photography - Photograph birds between 0- and 4-hours.
      • Big Sit - identify birds from one 30-foot diameter circle between 0- and 4-hours.
  3. Birding Rules
    • Count or photograph bird species with your team on your birdathon day only within the Birdathon Window (dates listed at the top).
    • In the Counter's Birdathon, birds can be identified by sight or sound.
    • In the Photographer's Birdathon, birds must be identifiable in the photograph taken. Do not submit photos.
    • You must count within Santa Clara County to complete for Most Species and Rarest Bird Award Categories but you can count anywhere in the world to compete for Most Money Award Categories!
    • Your birdathon must be done in one contiguous block of time specified by your Team Category that encompasses all activities: counting, photographing, driving, walking, biking, eating, breaks, etc.
    • All teams must consist of at least two members; there is no maximum (unless specified).
    • Team members must stay within sight of each other.
    • Bird song tapes and "pishing" are allowed. Please use common sense in using these tactics and never harass birds. We encourage all teams to abide by the American Birding Association Code of Ethics.
  4. Team Types
    • Guided - Guided teams are prearranged by the Birdathon Committee and are open to anyone. See the list of teams in our Birdathon calendar. The birdathon day is chosen by the Team Leader. Some leaders set a maximum number of team members, so register online early at least one week before the scheduled birdathon day. Participants should be over 17 years old, unless otherwise specified.
    • Self-Guided - Choose your own team leader, members, name and birdathon day. All team members should register online at least one week before the scheduled birdathon day. Each team must have at least two members and any maximum. Any age can participate.
  5. Winning Awards
    • All winners are determined by Results Form(s) (PDF or editable MS Word) submitted by each participant before the Results Submission Deadline (date listed at the top). We are sorry we cannot make exceptions for any reason.
    • All team totals are calculated from submitted individual Results Forms.
    • Award Categories
      • Most Money Raised by Individuals - Your grand total of all money raised for all the teams you join will determine your placement on a prize selection list. The more money you raise, the higher your placement on the list. The committee will contact the top money raisers in the order they appear on the list so they can choose a prize. Count anywhere in the world to compete for this award.
      • Most Money Raised by a Counter's Team - The team that raises the most money in each of the 24- and 4-hour and Big Sit Categories will have their team name engraved on a plaque. Count anywhere in the world to compete for this award.
      • Most Species Seen by a Counter's Team - The team that counts the most bird species from each of the 24- and 4-hour and Big Sit Categories will have their team name engraved on a plaque. Count within Santa Clara County only to compete for this award.
      • Most Species Photograhped by a Team - The team that photographs the most bird species from each of the 24- and 4-hour Categories will have their team name engraved on a plaque. You do not have to submit any photographs. Photograph within Santa Clara County only to compete for this award.
      • Rarest Bird - The team in any Team Category that spots the most unusual bird will have their team name engraved on a plaque. Photograph (do not submit any photographs) or count within Santa Clara County only to compete for this award.
    • Additional prizes will be given at the Awards Dinner for contests, games, quizzes, or raffles. All folks attending the dinner are eligible.
    • Prizes will be handed out at the Awards Dinner. If you cannot attend the dinner, please make your own arrangements to pick up your prize at the SCVAS headquarters after the dinner.
  6. Fundraising
    • Any donation sponsoring an entire team will be equally divided among all registered team members.

 

Updated November 2014

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