Yes, even with a north wind, the bird is the word from atop our high dunes at Indiana Dunes State Park. Many groups help to provide bird related educational opportunities here within the dunes area. The Friends of Indiana Dunes, Northwest Indiana Migratory Bird Association, Indiana Audubon Society, Chicago Audubon Society, and even our bird friendly businesses like Chesterton Feed and Garden Center all help to provide bird related activities or support in the state park. I can’t think of a single natural taxa or topic that receives as much financial or volunteer support in the park. Ok, fireworks are great, but that doesn’t count!
Enter our birdathon! Each year, a team of birders scours the May woodlands, wetlands, prairies, and lakeshore along Lake Michigan to record a plentiful list of bird species all for charity. These such birdathons come together in the spirit of friendly competition and of course to raise money for their sponsoring organization. Many of the great programming and special events at the state park would not be possible (or free!) if it were not for the birdathon.
For the fifth year, our interpid birding team from the Indiana DNR will be setting out to record our goal of 150 species to raise money for the Friends of Indiana Dunes. On Saturday, May 19 our team will be starting at 2:30am for owls, whip-poor-wills, and nighthawks, and race towards the finish line, after dark, picking up raptors, shorebirds, and warblers along the way.
How can you help raise money for the parks birding projects, like the new Green Tower platform construction project? It’s easy! Simply fill out the form found here and send it in by May 16 (do it today, while it is on your mind!). Last year our team found 126 species of birds. If you had pledged a dime per species, you would have donated $12.60. A dollar per species would have been $126.00… you get the idea. If you want to challenge our team with an extra $5.00 for a specific bird, maybe your favorite bird, please do so! We love the challenge!
The full list of birds will be sent to all that pledge, as well as on this blog, and allow us to set some goals for next year! Oh yes, as always, your contribution is tax deductible as allowed by law. Thank you!