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32nd Annual Southwest Michigan Team Birdathon

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Enjoy a day of birdwatching and fundraising with fellow birdwatchers! This friendly competition starts as early as 12:00 AM and runs until 7:00 PM (Start times are decided by each team.) Participate with your birding team to see how many birds you can find and record in one day! ALL birdwatching levels are welcome to participate.

Entry Form 2021

Birdathon Checklist 2021

Birdathon Rules 2021

Birdathon Pledge Sheet 2021

After a one-year absence, Birdathon is back and scheduled for Saturday, May 15th, 2021. For this year, we have made several changes to the event due to the COVID 19 pandemic to keep everyone safe.  We plan to follow all MDHHS recommendations for this event, so we will update the rules as needed to make sure all safety precautions are followed.

The event will start at midnight on May 15th and go to 7:00 pm. All teams must have a minimum of three members. We ask that team members use separate vehicles unless they are from the same household, practice social distancing, and wear masks where needed. Teams will enter their results into a Google Doc and it must be completed by 7:00 pm. The finish line will be wherever you are at when 7:00 pm rolls around. We will not have an in-person awards ceremony at the end of the night but will have a virtual awards ceremony to share highlights from the day and to announce the winning teams in each category. The virtual awards ceremony will start at 8:00 pm via Zoom.

We will provide each team member with a birdathon recovery kit since we will not be able to hold an in-person dinner. In the kit you will find your event t-shirt, snacks, drinks, and other goodies. Recovery kits can be picked up at Sarett Nature Center starting the week of birdathon and on the day of the event. We are working on having a few other pick-up sites as well, so stay tuned for more information.

We have created some new categories for this year’s event as well as our standard categories to cover a wide range of comfort levels and to help comply with MDHHS recommendations. The categories are:


Each team member(s) birds within their home county with a maximum of three different counties per team. Teams are limited to 100 total miles.  You only need to count the mileage from one car/county. Team members should ride in separate vehicles unless they are from the same household. For example, Fred, Tina, Linda, and Gary are a team. Fred is from Berrien county, Tina and Linda are from Chippewa county, and Gary is from Wayne county. Fred would bird by himself in Berrien County, Tina and Linda would bird in Chippewa County, and Gary birds in Wayne County.

Southwest Michigan:

Teams bird within nine counties of Southwest Michigan: Berrien, Cass, St. Joseph, Branch, Van Burren, Kalamazoo, Calhoun, Allegan, and Barry. Team members should ride in separate vehicles unless from the same household, practice social distancing, and wear masks where needed.

Berrien County: 

Teams bird within Berrien County. Team members should drive in separate vehicles, unless from the same household, practice social distancing, and wear masks where needed.

Single Birding Location:  

Teams bird in only one location in any county of their choosing (such as a nature center, State park, or similar site). If your team members are from separate households, they should drive to the birding location you choose in separate vehicles, practice social distancing, and wear masks where needed.

Participating teams are encouraged to use this event as a fundraiser for a nature center, conservation organization, or other similar groups—but this is not required for participation.

Included with this letter is an entry blank, official rules, and a pledge sheet. We will send out an email to team captains the week before the event with a Birdathon checklist, pledge calculation sheet, Google doc, and any last-minute instructions. The entry fee is $32 per participant ($34 for XXL shirt please). Cost includes event t-shirt and recovery kit.  If you would like your t-shirt shipped to you include an extra $10 or if you would like your t-shirt and recovery kit shipped to you, please include an extra $15 for shipping.  Your options for t-shirt sizes are small, medium, large, XL, and XXL. Please make checks payable to: “Sarett Nature Center” and mail to: Mike Mahler, Sarett Nature Center, 2300 Benton Center Rd., Benton Harbor, MI 49022.

The entry deadline to guarantee shirts for your team is Saturday, April 23rd, 2021.  Any entries received after this date will not be guaranteed a t-shirt!


To receive a team entry packet or more information, contact Mike Mahler at Sarett Nature Center

2300 Benton Center Rd., Benton Harbor, Michigan, 49022

Phone: 269.927.4832.