May 2017
(Big Day is during May 19 - 22)
Pilchuck Audubon's competitive birding event will be taking place during the month of May.  The Big Month for the species count competition will take place anywhere in Washington over the month of May.  The Big Day species competition will be any 24 hour period during May 19-22.  The photography contest will have two sections.  Big World, Big Year is for photos taken anywhere in the world from June 1, 2016 to May 31, 2017.  Washington Big Month is for photos taken during May in Snohomish County and Camano Island.  More details are below in the Rules of Competition.
  Great prizes will be gift cards, bird food, bird books, and other goodies.  We will announce the winners and give out prizes at our program meeting on June 9 (need not be present to win)
Birdathon is Pilchuck Audubon's largest fundraising event of the year.  It works like most "a-thons" in that participants solicit pledges for some kind of action - in this case, for the number of bird species spotted during a specific time.  So have fun!  Have a “Big Day” with your friends!  Win FABULOUS PRIZES!!!  Let us know you're participating by emailing
ORGANIZATION   There are four ways to participate.
1.  TEAM COMPETITION:  Teams can be from one to four people.  They will choose a 24-hour period between May 19 and May 22 to see as many species within Snohomish County and Camano Island as possible.
2.  BIG SIT:  Teams can be from one to four people.  They will choose a 200 foot diameter circle within Snohomish County or Camano Island from which to view or hear birds for up to 24 hours, also between May 19 - 22.
3.  BIG MONTH:  This is for an individual or couple.  They will be able to bird the entire state of Washington between May 1 and May 31.
4.  PHOTO CONTESTS:  These are for individuals.  (Photographers may also participate in one of the other team competitions above.)
PLEDGES   There are two methods for friends and family to make pledges.  The simplest is to commit to a specific amount regardless of the number of bird species found.  The other is to pledge an amount per bird species found so that the total is dependent on how the team does. 
Two things to note:
1.  Each participant is committed to bringing in at least $25.00 in pledges.
2.  The Birdathon committee is providing a template letter which you can send via email to friends, family, co-workers asking for their pledge support.  (Be enthusiastic and raise money for the birds!  Find someone who owes you a favor and squeeze them for cash!  Empty the kid’s piggy bank so they’ll have birds to watch when they get older!)  

BIG DAY AWARD: This award recognizes the team that identifies the most species in a 24-hour period within Snohomish County and Camano Island.
BIG MONTH AWARD:  The person or couple with the most bird species seen in Washington State during the month-long period will go home with a prize.
MOST MONEY RAISED:  This award recognizes the team that raises the highest total dollar amount in donations.
BEST BIRD AWARD:  This award recognizes the team that records the "best" bird as determined by an outside judge. This could be a rare bird for a specific habitat or a bird that is difficult to find in its habitat.
SITTING DUCK AWARD: This award is given to the team whose members identify the highest number of species while staying within an imaginary circle 200 feet in diameter during their count.  (“Big Sit”)
BEST BIRD PHOTOGRAPH – WASHINGTON BIG MONTH: The best, most artistic bird photograph taken in Washington during Birdathon month, as chosen by an outside judge. (See Photo Contest rules below, under Rules of Competition.)
BEST BIRD PHOTOGRAPH – BIG WORLD, BIG YEAR: The best, most artistic bird photograph taken in anywhere in the world since last year’s Birdathon, as chosen by an outside judge. (See Photo Contest rules below, under Rules of Competition.) This is a new award for Birdathon 2015!
MYSTERY AWARD(S):  PAS Birdathon organizers reserve the right to add even more fabulous prize categories!  (Tip: The more money raised, the better the prizes!)

• Pilchuck Audubon Society (PAS) members as well as non-members are eligible to compete. The only requirement for participation is that each participant must secure at least $25 of donations for PAS.  Participants should record all pledges on a pledge sheet.
• Teams may be 1 to 4 people.  Teams should have a name.  Be creative – there’s a prize for best name!
• All team members must bird together – within sight/hearing distance from one another.  This rule also applies to birding by bicycle, kayak, or similar individual conveyance. When birding from a vehicle (car, boat, airplane), all team members must travel in the same vehicle.  Carpool!
• The team competition and the Big Sit competition must be completed in any continuous 24-hour period between 12:01 am Friday May 19, 2017 and 11:59 pm Monday May 22, 2017.  The Big Month competition must be completed between May 1 and May 31, 2017.
• Birds may be identified by sight or sound.  Birds must be alive, wild, and unrestrained.  (No, going to the Zoo or counting the stuffed birds at Cabela’s are NOT options.)  Eggs do not count as birds.
• At least half the members of a team must identify the bird in order for it to be placed on the team's list.
• Teams must not use recordings to call birds or induce them to respond. (Teams may, however, use a smart phone app or similar device, played at low volume, to help them identify a bird call that they hear.)  This is nesting season; PAS does not want our competition to add to the birds' already stressed lives.
• Following the team competitions or Big Sit, team members should contact their sponsors, advise them of how many species the team recorded and the amount of the sponsor’s contribution.  The team member may collect checks made out to PAS from the sponsor, or the sponsor may pay directly to PAS in cash, check or credit card (on the PAS website).
• After completing its Birdathon outing, a team should submit a scanned list of bird species identified plus pledge sheets to by 11:59 pm on Tuesday, May 31, 2017.   Entries for the Birdathon photo contest should be sent to this email also, by Tuesday, May 31, 2017, 11:59 pm.  The original sponsor sheets along with cash or checks collected can be turned in at the program meeting on June 10.  If you are unable to attend, you can mail in your original sponsor sheets and money collected to Pilchuck Audubon, 1429 Ave D, PMB 198  Snohomish  WA  98290.  We realize that collecting pledges can take a bit of time but please try to have everything to us by June 9.  If paying over our website, be sure to designate the transaction for Birdathon on the drop down menu.
• In order for a team to be eligible for the “Sitting Duck” prize, the Birdathon must be completed within an imaginary 200 foot diameter circle.  Birds viewed or heard from this spot are counted (participant has to be in circle, not the bird).  Have feeders?  Do a “Big Sit” from your own house!
Winners will be announced, and prizes awarded, at the program meeting on June 9, 2017.  See the homepage of the website for location and time.   Entrants need not be present to win, but you’ll have more fun if you are!

• All “Big Month” Birdathon rules (above) apply to this Photo Contest category. (Photos should be taken between May 1 and May 31, 2017 within Washington State, each photographer commits to $25 minimum pledge, etc.) Please see the Birdathon rules for specifics. Please be honest – there are no penguins in Washington state…

• Photos in this category can be taken anywhere in the world since last year’s Birdathon and this year’s Birdathon.  (This year, that is between June 1, 2016 and May 31, 2017.  (As above, each photographer commits to a $25 minimum pledge, etc.) Please see the Birdathon rules for other specifics.  Penguins are OK here!
For either/both photo awards:

• Each photographer may enter up to six (6) images total, with no more than 4 images per category. 
• Images should be digital photographs submitted in .jpg format. Scans from film are acceptable, but the original photograph must be taken during the Birdathon timeframes and in the locales noted above, and meet all the rules.  Please note which category you wish your photos to be entered into when you submit them.

• Each .jpg image entered should have a title. Please include the photographer’s name following the title. (For example: “Common Bushtit by Jane Doe.jpg”.)

• Images enhanced or altered using programs such as Adobe “Photoshop” are acceptable (in .jpg format). Each image will be judged on its own merit. “Straight” photographs and “artistic interpretations” are equally welcome. The photos will be viewed for judging on a computer monitor.

• Winning entries will be displayed on the Pilchuck Audubon Society website. Other entries may be displayed as well, if space permits. Image files may be resized to meet the requirements of the website. All images remain the property of the photographer. Uses of the images by Pilchuck Audubon will be for Birdathon related purposes only, or as permitted by the photographer.

• Entries should be submitted via E-mail to: no later than 11:59 pm on May 31, 2017.  Winners will be announced, and prizes awarded, at the program meeting on June 10, 2016. Entrants need not be present to win, but you’ll have more fun if you are!  Please see previous section on submitting pledges.

FABULOUS PRIZES await the winner. Don’t be left out!


2016 Photo Contest
First Place--Washington Big Month
Western Sandpiper
Western Sandpiper by Rex Guichard
First Place--World, Big Year
Magnificent Frigatebird
Magnificent Frigate Bird by Ken Longley
Viewer's Choice Award
Parent Swallow Feeding Young
Feeding Time by Bill Fulton

Honorable Mention--Washington Big Month
by Rick Brauer:
Barred Owl Chick
Barred Owl with Vole
by Bill Fulton:
Rock Pigeon Looking Forward
Wood Duck Taking Flight
by Rex Guichard:
Honorable Mention--World Big Year
by Rick Brauer:
Anna's Hummingbird
Brown Pelicans in Flight
Royal Terns
Surf Scoters in Flight
by Bill Fulton:
Rufous Hummingbird feeding juvenile
Sandhill Crane in Hidden Nest
Black-capped Chickadee with Tasty Morsel
by Rex Guichard:
Pygmy Owl
Pygmy Owl Coughing Up Pellet
Trumpeter Swans
Short-eared Owl
by Ken Longley:
Brown Pelican Preening
Horned Puffin with Candlefish
King Penguin Pair
by Brandy Ream:
Great Blue Heron Wading
Great Blue Heron Take-off
Great Blue Heron Perched
Hawaiian Honey Creeper

The 2016 Birdathon was a huge success! A big thank you to all who participated.