Still time to make your pledge for WSO’s 28th Honey Creek Birdathon/Bandathon
The WSO Board of Directors held its quarterly board meeting out at Honey Creek to supply the crew needed to help make this year’s 28th annual Honey Creek Birdathon/Bandathon the most successful — and best attended — ever. That included a special cleanup of the Cox Nature Center — including the outhouses — and some trail reconnaissance to clear a few fallen trees.
This effort follows the installation last spring of 150 feet of boardwalk in the first quarter-mile of the trail up our favorite valley in the beautiful Baraboo Hills. That project not only made trail use easier, but it protects sensitive off-trail vegetation from the trampling that occurred as folks struggled to find safe and dry footing.
Birdathon funds also have paid for mending fences after the spring floods, other upkeep and trail rehabilitation, property taxes, electricity and insurance on the Cox Nature Center, as well as liability insurance for the entire WSO property.
Because we are proud of what we have accomplished with the money raised in previous years, we are eager to show off the site and involve more of our members in the counting and banding effort. With the 2012 WSO convention planned for Middleton, only 45 minutes from the WSO’s Harold and Carla Kruse Nature Preserve, it seemed only natural to schedule both events for the same weekend. Optional half-day field trips from the convention will allow members to sign up to take a role in both major parts of the fundraiser on Saturday May 12 or Sunday May 13.
But before then we still need your pledge to help us continue to maintain this site. And you can do that right here by clicking on the link on the left side of the page for “Honey Creek Birdathon & Bandathon.”
Last year marked the seventh straight year the Birdathon has recorded at least 90 contributors. While many contributions range from $20 to $50, recent years have seen an increase in the number of larger gifts. In both 2010 and 2011, there were 27 individual pledges of $100 or more, a significant increase from the 16 in that range in 2009, which itself was double the number recorded in 2003. Last year, eight gifts exceeded $200, with the largest totaling $350.
For 2012, WSO again is offering some special prizes to encourage both new and increased donations, but we also plan a drawing open to everyone who pledges.
- One drawing will be held from among those who donate at least $1.25 per species seen or heard or $3 per species banded. The winner will receive a copy of the “Atlas of the Breeding Birds of Wisconsin,” valued at $40.
- Another will be held from among new donors. The winner will receive the 556-page “Wisconsin’s Favorite Bird Haunts,” valued at $30. The bird-finding guide covers all 72 counties, with 1,100 areas explored in 145 articles.
- Finally, four winners will be selected from among all the rest of the donors, including non-winning qualifiers in the first two categories. They will receive one of four birding books.
And if you want to also take part in person?
- Make the trip on your own or join a car caravan from the convention to join the “counting crew” at Honey Creek by 8 a.m. on Sunday May 13 and help tally the number of species identified on the property that day. Bring footwear that can ford the waters of Honey Creek, a hiking stick if you’d like, and some lunch to enjoy after the hike up the valley. Overnight camping facilities (a lovely lawn, running water and privies) are available, and the nature center building will be open.
- Take part in the Saturday-Sunday bandathon, run again this year by Anna Pidgeon, an assistant professor at UW-Madison who studies bird habitats and ecology. She’s recruiting experienced “bird extractors” and also welcomes interested observers; you must e-mail her at apidgeon@ wisc.edu or call her at 608-262-5628 if you want to assist in some fashion. For those interested in just observing, there will be a field trip signup sheet available at the convention for a group to caravan to Honey Creek from the convention site in Middleton on Saturday.
Posted: April 28th, 2012