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Birdathon Rules & Tips

There are as many different approaches to Birdathon as there are different ways to love birds. Here are some examples to get your ideas rolling:


COMPETITIVE: A Big Day – 24 hours

GO, GO, GO, and Win Big! Your goal is to beat last year’s Birdathon record of 173 species (set by the Wrenegades) or fundraising record of over $4,000 (set by the Cochiseballs) and you won’t sleep until you do! You are motivated and energized by the thought of driving halfway across the state and back in a 24 hour period!

CASUAL: A Modified Big Day – 24 hour

Relax…and Win Big! You complete your Birdathon in a 24 hour period, but you might not drive halfway across the state and back! You might do a Big Sit at the Paton Center for Hummingbirds or Agua Caliente Park, visit multiple sites during the time frame, or just record birds in your yard or at your local park, along your favorite hiking trail, your kids and grandkids are on your team…


CREATIVE: Completed in a custom time frame

Give it your Personal Flair! You prefer to stretch the enjoyment of Birdathon over multiple days/weeks. Maybe you focus on a particular species or circumstance. For example – your favorite bird is the Gila Woodpecker, so you set out to record as many of them as you can see in different areas of town, OR, you only record birds that are in flight, those sitting in mesquite trees, those in your backyard, only those you see out walking your dog…the possibilities are endless!


Online Birdathoners, please register here. Setting up your personalized fundraising page is easy and a great way to conveniently spread the word to your friends, neighbors, and other potential sponsors! After your Birdathon is complete, please email Diana at by Friday, May 10, with your total number of species seen to be eligible for prizes.

Offline Birdathoners: If you prefer to do your Birdathon “on paper” only, please call Diana at 520-629-0510 ext 7002 to register AND print out and use the forms listed below.


Asking friends and family to support your Birdathon might seem intimidating, but it can be lots of fun, and help to raise awareness for the unique biodiversity right here in southeast Arizona. If you’re on social media, use those outlets to raise support and awareness. Update your Facebook status, share your personal fundraising page over Facebook, Twitter, or email. Upload photos to Instagram. Share your results on Tucson Audubon’s Facebook page, and post your results on eBird.

Download these Tucson Audubon talking points and tips for “making the ask.”


The Rules Are Easy! Birding is to take place any time from April 7 – May 7, 2019. Any wild bird seen or heard by registered participants during this period counts. You pick the route and pace! Be on your best birder behavior while in the field: Obey the rules at each site you visit, and please follow the ABA Code of Ethics while birding. Remember, you are an ambassador of birding and Tucson Audubon!

Big Day Challenge 
To compete in the Big Day category, your birding must be completed during any ONE continuous 24-hour period on a day of your choosing from April 7 – May 7, 2019. The Tucson Audubon Birdathon is fairly flexible, so any 24-hour period works for your Big Day (no need to start at midnight!). That being said, if you want to submit your Big Day for consideration by the American Birding Association (ABA), their rules state that a 24-hour period must occur on one calendar day, from 12:00am through 11:59pm. You can find the detailed ABA rules here.

Big Sit Challenge
To compete in the Big Sit category, count species seen from a 30-foot diameter circle in any continuous time interval of less than 4-hours within the Birdathon window. Participants may leave the circle at any time, but birds will only be counted if sighted or heard from within the circle. Let the birds come to you!


To be eligible for prizes, participants must register, collect pledges, and turn in all forms to Diana Rosenblum via scanning and email to or post mail at 300 E. University Blvd #120, Tucson, AZ 87505 by Friday, May 10, 2019 at 5pm.

Only “Traditional” Birdathoners that do their Birdathon in the span of 24 hours, whether you choose the “Competitive” or the “Casual” approach, will be eligible for prizes.

The Grand Prize will be awarded to the registered Birdathoner with the highest total score. (Total score = 2 points per species + 1 point per dollar raised). Prizes will also be awarded for: Most Species Seen, Most Funds Raised, Youngest Birdathoner.

Online Birdathoners: Please email Diana at by Friday, May 10 at 5pm with your total number of species seen to be eligible for prizes.

Report your species! You can use the Tucson Audubon Birding Checklist (download here) to keep track of the birds you see. All Birdathoners are encouraged to submit your bird findings to

What is Birdathon and how do I participate?

  • Like walk-a-thon, but instead of counting laps, go birding and gather pledges per species seen.
  • Fun challenge for everyone – kids, adults, beginners, and experts. How many bird species can you find?
  • Join a trip or form a team
  • Hold your Birdathon any time from April 7 to May 7; your day can last from 1 hour to 24!
  • Prizes will be awarded in a variety of categories
  • Raise $50 or more and receive a Birdathon t-shirt at the Birdathon Wrap Up Party. (Location and date TBD)
  • Questions? Contact us at

Per Species Pledge Form
Let us and the team know you plan to pledge per species

Pledge Tracking Form
Keep track of all your offline pledges and donations.

Offline Donation Form
This form is available for single individual donations or pledges.

Birdathon Report Form
Please complete and return this form after your Big Day.


Tucson Audubon Society
300 E University Blvd. #120 Tucson, AZ 85705

Mason Center
3835 W Hardy Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85742

Paton Center for Hummingbirds
477 Pennsylvania Ave.
Patagonia, AZ 85624
520 415-6447


Tucson Audubon Society
300 E University Blvd. #120
Tucson, AZ 85705

Mason Center
3835 W Hardy Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85742

Paton Center for Hummingbirds
477 Pennsylvania Ave.
Patagonia, AZ 85624
520 415-6447