It happens every spring: A group of ambitious, dedicated, and excited young birders from the Youth Program of the MD Ornithological Society (YMOS) will traverse Maryland’s Eastern Shore from the Atlantic to the Chesapeake in the YMOS Birdathon. The dates this year are 16 and 17 March, not quite the first day of spring but certainly the last days of winter. The Birdathon is the principal fund raiser to underwrite expenses for participation in the World Series of Birding, which takes place New Jersey in May, and related YMOS activities. The youngsters invite you to help by pledging $0.25, $0.50, or $1.00 per species seen or heard over their two days in the field. You may pledge any time prior to the Birdathon by emailing George Radcliffe or Wayne Bell. Wayne and George will send your contribution amount to enter in the “Other Amount” entry below. Or you may make a donation directly now.
After clicking the “Donate” button, scroll through list and select “YMOS Photo Big Day / Birdathon”. You may also add a note or comment. (Be sure to make a selection as unspecified donations will be directed to the MOS Operating Fund or to the Breeding Bird Atlas).
The YMOS Birdathon offers one unique twist. The youngsters construct a 100-species Must-See List in advance and need to observe two species for each one missed on that list. Even under the most favorable conditions there are usually 20 or more missed Must-See’s at the end of the first day. This can make day 2 more than just a species quest: Go after a missed Must-See, or find two perhaps easier to find replacement species? It takes shared planning and decision-making in each case. In addition to honing identification skills, the Birdathon promotes a high level of collaboration that is a hallmark of the YMOS all year long.
This year at least four YMOS teams will represent the MOS at the World Series of Birding. They always do us proud, usually winning their middle school and high school divisions. This year poses a special challenge: Two “adults” on the award-winning team from Cornell University are former YMOS members! What a legacy past supporters of the Birdathon have created.
You may pledge any time prior to the Birdathon by emailing George Radcliffe or Wayne Bell. Those who pledge will receive an advance copy of the Must-See list. After the Birdathon, we will send you a report of all species identified, and the amount owed based on the net species seen after any penalty deductions for missed Must-See species. The donation amount may be entered in the “Other Amount” category in the form below.
Thank you in advance for your interest, and for your encouragement of this next generation of remarkable young birders. Please support the efforts of the two co-leaders of the YMOS project, George Radcliffe and Wayne Bell, by pledging today. Donations are tax deductible.