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Spring Birdathon: How to Participate in 2014

|Actions to Participate | Rules and Definitions |

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Take These Actions to Participate

  1. Review dates in the Birdthon Calendar (including Guided Birdathon Team descriptions). The 2014 date summary is:
    • Register for a team: Beginning in February
    • Kick-off party: March 12 at 6:30 pm
    • Birdathon Window: March 29 to April 27
    • Results Submission Deadline: May 13 at 5 PM
    • Birdathon Awards Dinner: June 10 at 6 PM
  2. Join a Team and Register online
    • Register at least one week prior to your Birdathon day for our fabulous pre-arranged Guided Teams or create your own Self-Guided Teams. Find descriptions of Guided Teams in the calendar.
    • You can join more than one team.
    • If you register early, we will add your name to the participant list to receive online sponsors.
    • Team Leaders should verify that all their team members registered online so we can credit the team for all donations.
  3. Request Pledges
    • In order to participate, you must receive at least $50 in sponsor donations for each team you join. We hope you will solicit many donations, but you can also self-donate any amount to meet this minimum.
    • Donations can be made online, and also by check or cash mailed or brought to the SCVAS Headquarters.
    • Please ensure that you and your sponsors mark your name on any donation so you can be credited.
    • Any donation sponsoring the entire team will be equally divided among all registered team members.
    • Ask your employer if they will match your Birdathon donation!
    • Review our pledge hints to maximize your pledges.
    • Use our optional sample pledge ask letter (PDF or editable MS Word) to send to your potential sponsors.
    • 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 chosen day within the Birdathon Window (dates listed at the top).
    • You must count within Santa Clara County to complete for Most Species and Rarest Bird but you can count anywhere in the world to compete for Most Money prizes!
  5. Collect Donations
    • Collect all pledged money 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 and pledge reminder to your sponsors so they can read about your big day.
  6. Submit Your Results
    • For each team that you join, please submit an individual Results Form (PDF or editable MS Word), money collected, pledge tracking sheets, and photos (if you are participating in the Photographer's Spring Birdathon) before the Results Submission Deadline (date listed at the top).
    • Please submit your individual Results Form, no matter how little you raise, so we can calculate all team totals.
    • Team Leaders should submit their team's species list and team member list with email addresses.
  7. Potentially Win a Valuable Prize
    • Wonderful prizes are donated to SCVAS by our generous Prize Sponsors. We encourage everyone to patronize them and mention that you are a member of SCVAS.
    • The Birdathon Committee will use only Results Form(s) submitted by the deadline to determine all prizes. We are sorry we cannot make any exceptions since we need time to prepare for the Awards Dinner.
    • Submitted individual Results Forms will be used to calculate the team totals.
    • Winning Awards
      • Most Money Raised by Individuals - Your total money raised submitted on your Results Form(s) 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 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 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. Birds in the photos must be easily identifiable by a panel of three judges. Submit all your photos in any manner - online photo forum, disc, email. Count within Santa Clara County only to compete for this award.
      • Rarest Bird - The team in any category that spots the most unusual bird will have their team name engraved on a plaque. Count within Santa Clara County only to compete for this award.
      • Best Artistic Bird Photograph - The individual participating in the Photographer's Birdathon that submits the most artistic and compositionally pleasing bird photo taken on their Birdathon Day will have their photo framed and displayed in the SCVAS Headquarters and on the website (submit the full-resolution photo indicated on your (Results Form). Photos will be judged by a panel of three judges. The photographer's name will also be added to our plaque. At the end of the year, the photo will be returned to the photographer or used for a Spring Birdathon prize in the following year. Photograph within Santa Clara County only to compete for this award.
      • Rarest Bird Photograph - The individual participating in the Photographer's Birdathon that submits the photo of the rarest bird taken on their Birdathon Day will have their photo framed and displayed in the SCVAS Headquarters and on the website (submit the full-resolution photo indicated on your (Results Form). The photographer's name will also be added to our plaque. At the end of the year, the photo will be returned to the photographer. Photograph within Santa Clara County only to compete for this award.
      • Special Prizes - We may award additional prizes based on your submitted individual Results Forms.
      • Awards Dinner Prizes - Additional prizes will be given at the Awards Dinner for bird contests, quizzes, raffles and more. All Birdathon participants and donors 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 office after the dinner.
  8. Attend Awards Dinner. Find out who won the big prizes at the Awards Dinner (date listed at the top)! All Spring Birdathon participants are encouraged to attend the dinner at McClellan Ranch Preserve. Please RSVP on your Results Form. There will be free food and refreshments, games, surprises, raffles, and fun for all! Prizes will be announced and distributed at the dinner.

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Rules and Definitions

  1. Eligibility. Anyone can participate, including SCVAS members and non-members; expert and beginning birders; Birdathon Committee members; SCVAS volunteers, staff, committee and board members. Although members of the SCVAS Board of Directors and SCVAS staff can participate, they are prohibited from receiving any prizes; if they do place in the competition, their alloted prize will go to the next eligible participant.
  2. Traditional or Photographer's Birdathon. Participate in the traditional Spring Birdathon by counting bird species or the Photographer's Spring Birdathon by photographing bird species.
  3. Team Categories
    • 24-Hour - count species in any continuous time interval of between 4 and 24-hours within the Birdathon Window.
    • 24-Hour Photography - photograph species in any continuous time interval of between 4 and 24-hours within the Birdathon Window.
    • 4-Hour - count species in any continuous time interval of less than 4-hours within the Birdathon Window.
    • 4-Hour Photography - photograph species in any continuous time interval of less than 4-hours within the Birdathon Window.
    • Big Sit - count species seen from a 30-foot diameter circle in any continuous time interval of less than 4-hours within the Birdathon Window. Participants may leave the circle at any time, but birds will only be counted if sighted or heard from within the circle.
  4. Team Types
    • Guided - Guided teams and team leaders 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 early online or by calling the SCVAS office 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. Register online or by calling the SCVAS office at least one week before the scheduled Birdathon day. Your team must have at least two members and the maximum number is up to you. Any age can participate.
  5. Fundraising
    • Pledge Sponsor - Someone who pledges to give you a specified amount ($.25, $1, etc.) per bird species that you identify on your Birdathon. You collect this money after your Birdathon Day when you know the number of species found.
    • Donation Sponsor - Someone who pledges to give you a flat amount ($5, $25, $100), regardless of the number of species identified. You can collect this money before or after your Birdathon Day. This method requires the least amount of work for you.
    • Corporate Sponsor - Ask your employer if they match donations.
    • Creative Sponsor - Someone who challenges you with a creative pledge (ex: $ per raptor, $ per species seen before 6 AM, $ per nest, use your imagination to increase pledges...).
    • Team Sponsor - money received sponsoring a team without mentioning a specific team member will be divided evenly between all registered team members.
    • Pledge Tracking Sheets - Log sheet for entering the names and addresses of your sponsors.
    • Individual Money Raised - Any money you raise (including the $50 minimum) counts toward your own individual total indicated on your own Results Form, not towards your team leader's total.
    • Corporate Team - a team made up of individuals from one business that can be sponsored by that business.
  6. Birdathon Day Rules
    • Your birdathon day should be within the Birdathon Window (dates listed at the top).
    • All teams must consist of at least two members; there is no maximum.
    • To compete for certain prizes, you must count within Santa Clara County, otherwise you can count anywhere in the world.
    • Team members must stay within sight of each other on their Birdathon Day.
    • Bird song tapes and "pishing" are allowed. Please use common sense in using these tactics and never harass the birds, many of which may be trying to protect territories. We encourage all teams to abide by the American Birding Association Code of Ethics.

 

Updated January 2014

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