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2013-03-31_019_Condor 35 Flying South of Big Sur_resized
California Condor, south of Big Sur

Tomorrow is the big day.

You who have followed my posts, in Mojo Friday, Dawn Chorus, and a few other places, know what I mean.

Birdathon is finally here.

So this is one last chance, one final begging-on-my-knees plea, for some good and kind and generous Kossacks to step up and make a donation before it's too late.

While I've always been kind of an "outdoorsy" guy, my wife and I became more environmentally involved when we moved to San Jose in the late 1990s. One of the main groups we've enjoyed has been our local Audubon chapter, Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society.

Burrowing Owl
Burrowing Owl, courtesy of Bob Power, SCVAS

This organization has been fun and helpful to us in many ways since we moved to San Jose and became birders.

Now, SCVAS needs our help, and I need your help. Tomorrow, April 20, my wife and I will be participating in a Birdathon fundraiser for SCVAS. This is their biggest fundraiser every year. As with the good ol' "walk-a-thon" type fundraisers that everybody is familiar with, in the Birdathon we simply go out and spend a day counting birds. Some donors pay per species seen, but most give a flat fee for our effort.

As one of the leading environmental organizations in the San Francisco Bay area, SCVAS will put your donations to very good use.

But I especially like that one of the biggest uses of the funds goes to bring kids to birds.

The Wetlands Discovery Program involves a bit of docent-led classroom training, followed up by a school field trip to learn about birds in nearby wetlands along the shores of the South Bay.

For many of these kids, especially the under-privileged ones, this field trip is often their first exposure to birds in their natural habitat, that is, other than the pigeons, house sparrows, and starlings that they might see in their neighborhoods.

I believe that if you start people loving nature at an early age, that can carry through their entire life, and SCVAS is helping do that with their Wetlands Discovery Program. And money raised today will go directly to this great program.

See this link for other wildlife education efforts by SCVAS.

014 Snow and Ross's Geese Fly at Gray Lodge Wildlife Management Area
Geese Take Off at Gray Lodge Wildlife Management Area

SCVAS is also a leader in habitat and wildlife protection. The group is leading a desperate fight locally to protect burrowing owls as the birds' habitat is continually being eroded by property developers. They are fighting a proposed development in nearby Redwood City that would be very destructive to wetlands. And they are working with wind-power proponents to help ensure that power-generating windmills are safe for birds and other wildlife.

012_Sandhill Crane at Merced NWR
Sandhill Crane at Merced National Wildlife Refuge

How to Donate

Donating is very simple. If you want to send in a check, please use Kosmail and drop me a note. I'll get back to you with information about that.

Otherwise, please go to this Sponsor a Team Member page. After the page opens up, type my wife's name, Carolyn Straub, into the field above the button that says "Donate Now." After her name is in the box, click the Donate button and you'll be taken to another page where you can fill in credit card or PayPal information.

You can be assured that all money raised goes directly to SCVAS, and your donation is fully tax-deductible.

You can see what great things SCVAS does with the money raised in the Birdathon. They really need our help to fund these various programs. So, please be as generous as you can, and every amount helps!

Thank you very much for whatever you do; we couldn't do it without you!

(Note that all photos, unless otherwise noted, are by myself or Ms. Unoball. All of the pictures were either taken on Audubon-sponsored birding trips, or based on information provided by SCVAS.)

Originally posted to Senor Unoball on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 07:15 AM PDT.

Also republished by Birds and Birdwatching and Backyard Science.


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