Let the bird watching begin.
The Yukon Bird Club is inviting new and experienced birders to look and listen for as many bird species as they can identify in 24 hours, between 5 p.m. on May 26 and 5 p.m. on May 27 for the annual Heimut Grunberg Yukon Birdathon.
The event, now in its 38th year, serves as a fundraiser for the bird club.
Funds raised through pledges-per-species or donations are tax-deductible and support the club’s activities including education and research, the club noted in a statement.
Participants can watch for birds solo or as part of a group for as much or as little time as they want. While some try to see as many birds as possible in the 24 hours of the birdathon, others take a couple of hours to look for birds on a walk or even just in their backyards.
Typically between 130 and 155 species are spotted during the birdathon.
Those who can’t take part in the event are encouraged to sponsor Alex Oberg, who’s been designated the birdathon’s feature birder for the event.
“Born and raised in Whitehorse, the avid and relatively new birder is planning to birdwatch with his family,” the bird club said. “His goal is to find 70 species, 10 more than at his first birdathon last year.”
Birdathon participants are encouraged to limit their use of fossil fuels by using active transportation, e-biking or using electric vehicles, taking the bus or car-pooling.
“Over the years, many participants have discovered the joy of birding from their home or neighborhood,” organizers pointed out.
A potluck dinner in Rotary Park at 6 p.m. on May 27 will wrap-up the event with prizes set to be awarded for the most species seen in several categories and for oldest and youngest birder.
The club noted about 87 per cent of the 300 bird species in the Yukon are migratory, returning in April and May from places as far away as Antarctica. Among them are spring’s heralding species, the Trumpeter Swan and the tiny Rufous Hummingbird that seeks out summer flowers.
Popular birding spots in the Whitehorse include the McIntyre Creek wetlands, Yukon River trails, Hidden Lakes, Swan Haven and M’Clintock Bay, Lewes Marsh, Wolf Creek, Mary Lake, Schwatka Lake, the Quartz Road wetland, Paddy’s Pond in Hillcrest and the Yukon Wildlife Preserve.
Yukon species checklists are available for Whitehorse, Dawson City, Faro and Watson Lake and identify other birding hotspots.
The eBird.org website and the eBird Mobile App can also be used to help find where to bird, who’s birding and to keep track of sightings.
Contact Stephanie Waddell at email@example.com