2011 Yukon Birdathon

Say's Pheobe


The annual Yukon Birdathon is a major spring event for Yukon birders. This year’s birdathon is now less than one week away, taking place from Friday, May 27th, to Saturday, May 28th. The birdathon starts at 5:00pm on Friday and ends at the same time on Saturday, giving participants 24 hours to bird. The Yukon Birdathon is a fundraiser for the Yukon Bird Club which uses the money that has been raised to educate the public about Yukon birds, and to promote awareness and conservation. People who participate in the birdathon can do so either as a fundraiser, as a sponsor, or both. Fundraisers go out birding whenever they like, for however long, and where ever they like so long as the locations that they bird are in the Yukon. Sponsors can sponsor any of the fundraisers, giving either a flat rate or a sum per species the fundraiser finds. Some people go out birding for almost the full 24 hours to find as many species as possible, while others spend a period of time feeder-watching or birding on a short walk. My plan this year is to bird around Tagish on Friday evening, then slowly make my way to Whitehorse the next day down the Alaska Highway. Tagish Bridge, California Beach, a beaver pond, Judas Creek, and McClintock River are some of my destinations for the birdathon. There will be a BBQ being held at Robert Service Campground on Saturday at 6:00pm as soon as the birdathon ends, which participants will be welcome to join. Bring your own food for the BBQ, and whatever you would like to drink.

Every year the Yukon Birdathon has a lead birder. This year’s lead birder is Jukka Jantunen, who will be birding around Whitehorse and the Southern Lakes area, then onwards to Watson Lake. He and two of his close friends will spend almost the whole 24 hours out scanning lakes with their scopes, using their binoculars to spot birds hidden in undergrowth and trees, identifying bird songs and owling at night. If you would like to support the Yukon Bird Club, then please sponsor Jukka Jantunen. If you have any questions concerning the Yukon Birdathon, you can contact Jim Hawkings at hawkings@northwestel.net  more information. Jim can also provide pledge sheets to those who would like to sponsor Jukka or anyone else they know is participating. Thank you for supporting the Yukon Bird Club, and good luck to any of you going out birding next weekend!


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