The Baillie Birdathon is MRF's most important fundraising event, and has been undertaken annually since 2004. But in addition to being critical to MRF's operating budget, the Birdathon is always a fun event that provides lots of memorable experiences - not all of them involving birds either! Archived below are links to reports of may of our Birdathon events. We hope these will inspire you to participate in the 2013 Birdathon - or at least to sponsor the MBO Birdathon Team in their efforts. Click here for further information.
MRF Birdathon 2013
For the second year in a row, MRF's Executive Director Marcel Gahbauer did his Birdathon in Alberta. This time the focus was on the deep south, in particular Waterton Lakes National Park and Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park, augmented by visits to Frank Lake and the Weaselhead Natural Area in Calgary. Despite some rain and wind interfering with plans, a healthy list of 149 species was compiled.
MBO Birdathon 2013
The MBO Green Team took to their bikes this year, and checked out a variety of habitats in the west island, reaching a total of 95 species.
Red-eyed Wearios Birdathon 2013
The Red-eyed Wearios were back to eastern Ontario and southwestern Quebec this year, with a very productive route that yielded a total of 120 species.
Alison Hackney Birdathon 2013
Participating in the Birdathon for a second year in a row, Alison Hackney's team found 68 species by bike near the west tip of the island of Montreal, despite poor weather.
MRF Birdathon 2012
This year's Birdathon focused on Alberta, specifically limited to a 100 km radius around Calgary. Despite that restriction, MRF's Executive Director Marcel Gahbauer found a total of 126 species during the day.
MBO Birdathon 2012
The MBO Green Team set out on foot again this year, and reached a solid total of 89 species, based at McGill Bird Observatory and immediate surroundings.
Red-eyed Wearios Birdathon 2012
This year the Red-eyed Wearios had scheduling issues, and were forced to split into two groups, one reaching a total of 104 species at Point Pelee, and the other counting 110 in the Long Point area..
Alison Hackney Birdathon 2012
The newest addition to MRF's suite of Birdathon teams was Alison Hackney and friends, who kicked off the 2012 season with a list of 61 species in western Montreal.
MBO Birdathon 2011
The MBO Green Team did this year's Birdathon mostly on foot, as per tradition, but in a concession to the relentless rain did drive a short distance to get a brief respite from the weather en route to other sites near MBO. The total of 87 species was remarkably good considering the conditions.
Raven Loon-a-tits Birdathon 2011 (French version also available)
An all day effort by David Bird, Simon Duval, Marcel Gahbauer, and Rodger Titman covered a variety of choice birding spots in southern Quebec including Mauricie National Park, Baie-du-Febvre, and the Hemmingford-Huntingdon region. Although plagued at various times by rain, high wind, and flooding, the team reached a total of 142 species.
Red-eyed Wearios Birdathon 2011
This dedicated MBO team again focused their search on western Quebec and eastern Ontario, this year counting 106 species over the course of their day, and finding some unusual surprises along the way.
Laughing Bonaparte's Birdathon 2011
A new team supporting MBO in 2011, the Laughing Bonaparte's had a great day in and around Kingston, Ontario, finding 160 species by exploring the rich mix of shoreline, wetland, and forest habitats found in the area.
Marie-Anne Hudson Birdathon 2011
This Birdathon focused on a variety of birding spots in and around Ottawa on what ultimately turned out to be a rather quiet day of migration, with the count ending up at 92 species.
MBO Birdathon 2010
The third annual "green" Birdathon conducted entirely on foot at MBO and the adjacent Morgan Arboretum was unfortunately timed this year, with few migrants in the area on the day of the count. Nevertheless, 64 species were observed in just half a day.
MRF Birdathon 2010
This year MRF's Executive Director Marcel Gahbauer took a different approach to the Birdathon, limiting himself to within the limits of the City of Toronto, and to walking or using public transit. Over 30+ km of walking, the species total grew to 101, with highlights including 20 species of warbler, and nesting Red-necked Grebes and Red-bellied Woodpeckers, both relatively new breeders in the area.
Red-eyed Wearios Birdathon 2010
This intrepid team of McGill Bird Observatory volunteers focused their efforts on southwestern Quebec and eastern Ontario this year, with highlights including Ruddy Duck, Sora, and Clay-colored Sparrow, among a total of 90 species.
MBO Birdathon 2009
The second annual "green" Birdathon based at MBO ended up being held during a bit of a lull in migration, but still yielded a decent list of 83 species including 18 warblers, plus other highlights such as a Great Horned Owl, some grounded Turkey Vultures and a nesting Red-breasted Nuthatch.
MRF Birdathon 2009
Inspired by the success of the "green" Birdathons by the McGill Bird Observatory team, MRF's Executive Director Marcel Gahbauer tried the same approach this year, but with the added twist of doing the count in Switzerland rather than Canada. While the list was unusually short at only 50 species, it was a memorable day all the same.
Red-eyed Wearios Birdathon 2009
A team of McGill Bird Observatory volunteers joined forces for a Birdathon at Ontario's famous Point Pelee, generating a list of 106 species including a rich variety of warblers and many other colourful spring birds.
Falcon-Duck Birdathon 2009
A report on the exploits of a new McGill University team and friends, exploring the rich variety of great birding locations in Ontario's Prince Edward County and finding 117 species in the process.
MBO Birdathon 2008
The first attempt at a "green" Birdathon based at MBO was a resounding success, with 7 hours of walking producing a list of 98 species, including 22 warblers, a Sedge Wren, and a nest of Common Raven ... all of this in one small corner of the island of Montreal!
MRF Birdathon 2008
While the MBO Birdathon effort this year was a very local affair, MRF's Executive Director Marcel Gahbauer took the opportunity to explore unfamiliar areas with his 2008 Birdathon, namely the Cypress Hills of southeastern Alberta. Despite some fog, torrential rain, and highly questionable road conditions, the total for the day ended up being a very respectable 136 species.
MBO Birdathon 2007
This year the MBO Birdathon was restricted to the island of Montreal, and still generated a list of 117 species, with highlights including stunning views of Virginia Rail and Black Tern, a swirling mass of four swallow species over a small pond near MBO, and a nice variety of 8 raptors.
MRF Birdathon 2007
Spending May in Alberta for the first time, Marcel Gahbauer found that the Birdathon experience was quite different from previous years in Ontario or Quebec - this report, subtitled "From cactus to snow canyons", highlights the variety of birding that can be encountered in a single day in Alberta.
MBO Birdathon 2006
Despite a second year in a row with rather dismal weather, this year's Birdathon team enjoyed a variety of memorable sightings, including 3 Little Gulls in beautiful breeding plumage, a bedraggled looking Eastern Screech-Owl peering out of its roost in the rain, and a half-dozen American Woodcocks 'timberdoodling' in the sky above at the day's final stop.
MRF Birdathon 2006
This year MRF Director Marcel Gahbauer combined his Birdathon with a drive from Toronto to Montreal, making small detours along the way to a variety of great spring birding locations. The resulting list included nearly 150 bird species, plus some other unusual observations, such as a forest that was literally raining caterpillars.
MBO Birdathon 2005
Periods of light rain and a chilly high temperature of just 10 Celsius weren't enough to dampen the enthusiasm of the participants in MBO's first group Birdathon effort, who managed to cobble together a list of 108 species
including 5 herons, 7 blackbirds, and 10 ducks.
MRF Birdathon 2005
For his 2005 Birdathon, Marcel Gahbauer teamed up with four others to form the "Raven Loonaticks" and strategized to find a route that would yield the maximum possible number of species within 24 hours, while staying entirely in Quebec. Despite some patches of inclement weather and missing some otherwise common birds, the team found an impressive total of 160 species.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT - AND PLEASE JOIN US FOR BIRDATHON 2013!