Follow the flock! Support ACA’s inaugural Birdathon

July 21, 2011

Colibri coruscans birdFrom August 11th through 22nd, the Amazon Conservation Association (ACA) is hosting its first Birdathon in celebration of the immense diversity of bird species in southeastern Peru. ACA’s Birdathon is an event in which a group of conservationist birders will travel a route from the highlands to the lowlands alongside Manu National Park while counting the number of bird species they see. Their goal is to support conservation of southeastern Peru’s globally important forests and the birds dependent on them by seeking sponsors to pledge an amount per bird seen or to make a donation to the event. All funds raised go to ACA to further ongoing conservation efforts. 

The intrepid birders will be stopping at ACA’s Wayqecha Cloud Forest Biological Station and Hacienda Villa Carmen, ACA’s new conservation property which was purchased with the help of the American Bird Conservancy to be protected as a refuge for countless rare and endangered birds. This area, where the eastern slopes of the Andes meet the Amazonian lowlands, boasts an exceptional array of habitats sustaining a vast number of bird species. Along the way the group may see species such as the Giant Hummingbird (“the Schwarzenegger of hummingbirds”), the Cock-of-the-rock, the Gray-breasted Mountain Toucan, or the Undulated Tinamou – but how many will they see in all?   It’s the question we all want answered!

Life-long conservationist and avid birder Craig Thompson will lead the Birdathon, traveling from La Crosse, Wisconsin to the Amazon rainforests of Peru along with 12 other participants. The coordinator of the international program of the Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative, he has been organizing and leading birding trips to the neotropics for the past 20 years. Like the birds they study, Thompson and participants will migrate down to bird wintering grounds in Peru. The connection between the neotropics and Wisconsin is a strong one – over half of Wisconsin’s 238 species of breeding birds winter within the tropical latitudes.

The Wisconsin birders have set a $20,000 goal for the Birdathon. They are currently more than halfway there – you can help them meet their goal by making a tax-deductible pledge of either a fixed or per-species amount. Your donation will be used by ACA to help protect one of the most biodiverse regions in the world. Just go to ACA’s website to make a one-time donation in support of the event, or fill out our pledge form. Plus, if you guess the final bird count you will win a copy of Birds of Peru from the Princeton Field Guides Series. You can get an idea of the diversity of beautiful birds that the group may see in this video of birds in our Wayqecha Biological Station.