By Ilana DeBare
Whew! Now that Birdathon 2014 is all wrapped up, we can take a deep breath and look around and and realize that… everyone was a winner.
The 180 people who went on great field trips. The 650 people who felt proud to sponsor a friend or donate. The 100 people who attended the Birdathon Awards Celebration on May 18 and enjoyed Rockwall wines, Linden Street beer, and terrific jazz by the Skyline High School jazztet.
And of course, the biggest winners were the beneficiaries of the money raised during Birdathon… including the kids in our Eco-Education classes, the wildlife that find food and refuge at our habitat restoration sites, and the birds whose lives are saved through conservation work like our Lights Out for Birds campaign.
Birdathon 2014 participants and supporters raised over $56,000 for all these programs — blasting past our goal of $50,000!
But still, I bet you’re thinking, Come on, Ilana, who were the PRIZE winners?
So here’s a summary of the top birders, top fundraisers, and other honorees of Birdathon 2014:
Birding AwardsBest Bird Bruce Mast and his Big Day team, for spotting a Black Vulture in Sonoma County Most species in 24 hours 1st place – Bruce Mast’s team in Sonoma County, with 172 species. 2nd place – Glen Tepke and the Dippers in Alameda County, with 132 species. 3rd place – Ivan Samuels’ Miwok birding team in Bolinas, with 120 species Most species in six hours 1st place – Glen Tepke and the Dippers in Oakland, with 117 species. 2nd place – Bruce Mast’s team in Sonoma County, with 87 species. 3rd place – Chris & Gary Bard’s trip in Alameda, with 77 species.
1st place – Bonnie Ng and Paul Kramer, who raised $2480. (The prize is two nights at a luxurious Bolinas vacation home.)
2nd place – Chris and Gary Bard, who raised $2340. (The prize is two nights at Costanoa Resort and Lodge.)
3rd place – Bob Lewis, who raised $2000. (The prize is two nights at Sierra Hot Springs resort.)
4th place – Dan Harris, who raised $1841…. from 64 different donors! (The prize is one night at Jay House vacation cottage in Colusa)
5th place – Glen Tepke, who raised $1790. (The prize is a pelagic birding trip with Alvaro’s Adventures.)
6th place – Anthony DeCicco and Marissa Ortega-Welch, who raised $1735. (The prize is a pelagic birding trip with Monterey Seabirds.)
Golden Gate Audubon Annual Awards
Each year, GGAS selects an outstanding conservation advocate to receive the Elsie Roemer Award, and an outstanding environmental educator to receive the Paul Covel award.
At the Birdathon Celebration, outgoing Executive Director Mike Lynes presented the Roemer award to Lisa Owens Viani, for her leadership in the fight against rodenticides. Lisa is a co-founder of Raptors Are the Solution (RATS), which has creatively and persistently advocated for the banning of anti-coagulant rodenticides such as D-con that cause secondary poisoning of hawks, coyotes and other wildlife. For instance, check out and share this cool claymation video that RATS created to spread the word about rodenticides! Lisa is also a wildlife rescue volunteer and a former Development Director at Golden Gate Audubon.
Dave Quady, the recipient of last year’s Paul Covel education award, presented this year’s award to Denise Wight for her work introducing countless Bay Area residents to the skills and joys of birding by ear. If you’ve ever taken Denise’s Birding By Ear class, you know what a great teacher she is. And if you haven’t taken her class, chances are it’s because the class invariably sells out within minutes — and you may have been stuck on the waiting list!
Our generous corporate sponsors were key to the success of Birdathon 2014. Our sponsors’ commitment to conservation and GGAS goes beyond Birdathon season. Several of them partner with us throughout the year on projects like restoring habitat at Pier 94. A big thank you to:Bronze Level Sponsors AEW Engineering Dolphin Charters Farella Braun + Martel Lozeau Drury LLP SCS Global Services Copper Level Sponsors Croll’s Pizza and Beer East Bay Regional Park District Emergency Management and Safety Solutions Hanson Aggregates Recology THANK YOU to everyone who took part in Birdathon 2014 — the field trip leaders, fundraisers, organizers, donors, sponsors, and volunteers!
You can view a full album of photos from the Birdathon Awards Celebration on our Facebook page – click here.
Want to get involved in Birdathon 2015? A volunteer committee will start planning it in the fall. Please email Ilana at email@example.com if you’d like to get involved.