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May 4 & 5, 2019
Join a team of expert birders, or start your own team and report your results. Contact us by email to register.
Donate to Birdathon: Mail a check to JAS, PO Box 3741, Lawrence KS 66046 or donate online.
2018 Birdathon Sets a Record

The results of the 2018 Ed and Cynthia Shaw Memorial Birdathon are in.  Chapter birders scoured woodlands, wetlands, prairies and parks and came up with 166 species! The complete list can be downloaded as a PDF below right.

Lists came in from Roger Boyd, Scott Kimball, Kylee Sharp, Nick Pumphrey, and Gary Lechleiter at Baker Wetlands (they found 100 species by 10:15 am and didn’t stop there!); Jennifer Delisle in Valley Falls; Galen Pittman, eastern Kansas; David Seibel, Ark City; Jim Bresnahan, Vanessa Carlos, Jill Baringer and Susan Iversen, Kill Creek Park, Burcham Park, Baker Wetlands and the KU Field Station; Richard Bean; Ron & Joyce Wolf; Wayne Kennedy, Burcham; and Linda Lips who “was chasing warblers all over the place!” including Weston Bend, Chicken Creek, Baker Wetlands and Burcham Park!  

Our list includes 26 species of warblers, 7 species of vireos, and 12 species of sparrows.  New JAS president Jim Bresnahan pointed out that the list boasts the heaviest bird in North America, Trumpeter Swan, and one of the lightest, Ruby-throated Hummingbird. 


Our birders glimpsed all the colors of the rainbow flashing from the feathers of Summer Tanagers, Baltimore Orioles, Yellow Warblers, Black-throated Green Warblers, Eastern Bluebirds, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Indigo Buntings, and Purple Martins, not to mention the Painted Bunting which is a rainbow all by itself.  This is the glory of spring migration flooding through the Western Hemisphere, a phenomenon that all of us interested in birds and their survival excitedly anticipate, savor and value each year.


Jayhawk Audubon is dedicated to spreading awareness and understanding of the key role of birds in our ecosystems to engage more people in wildlife conservation. Birdathon is a key fundraiser for JAS chapter outreach and education efforts such as Plants for Birds, Eagles Day, Earth Day, a Free Monarch Tagging Event, Natural History Museum/KU Biodiversity Institute Camp Scholarships, monthly programs and newsletters, and our partnerships with allies such as the Grassland Heritage Foundation, Audubon of Kansas, The Kaw Valley Native Plant Coalition and others.


So this is an appeal to all of you who are able to please contribute to JAS to support the work. Any amount you can manage will be appreciated and used for our educational efforts. We have no salaries and no office, so every penny is spent to further the mission. Download the pledge form at right and return with a check to our P.O. Box 3741, Lawrence, KS 66046.  (If you want to collect money from some of your friends and family, that would be awesome. There is space on the pledge form for that.)


Thank you all for being friends and members of JAS.  You are our strength!   Enjoy the summer.  We'll be back in August with a new year of programs and field trips.


Birdathon Background

Our annual Birdathon has always been a major fundraiser for the chapter. Like any other "thon" the idea is to collect or make pledges to the chapter to sponsor those hardy individuals or teams who get out for a few hours or more of birding on a scheduled day or weekend. With the help of migratory songbirds moving through our area in May, the number of species identified for the past several years has been well over 150 each year. Every year tends to reveal something unique such as the Black-bellied Whistling-Duck sighted at the Baker Wetlands in 2008 as well as all the old favorites in warblers, hummingbirds, shorebirds, and, of course, our Kansas state bird the Western Meadowlark.

Whether you’re an accomplished birder looking for a good opportunity to get out for a good cause or a beginner or novice looking to team up with someone to learn from, this is one of the best events to get out and enjoy. Download the Birdathon Pledge Form and the Bird List for Douglas County below. 

Our faithful coordinator for this event is Richard Bean. Richard, an accomplished birder as well as Master Bee Keeper for Blossom Trail Bee Ranch, has helped keep this event one of our leading fundraisers. You can join him for the birding or just get more information about the May event by contacting him at (785) 615-1548.

Indigo Bunting.  Photo by Jim Bresnahan.

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