The Helmut Grünberg Yukon Birdathon is an annual birdwatching event that doubles as a fundraiser for the Yukon Bird Club. It was renamed in 2015 to honour our long-time friend and pillar of the Yukon birding community, Helmut Grünberg, who passed away in February 2015. Read the primer for more information about this exciting 24 hours of fun that comes around every year on the last weekend of May!
34th Annual Helmut Grünberg Yukon Birdathon 2019 !!
Friday-Saturday May 31-June 1 (5pm to 5pm). All are welcome!
This year’s 34th Birdathon promises to be a fun event, with friendly competition too.
The 24 hour birding blitz is a chance for new and expert birders to take time to enjoy the sounds and sights of peak bird migration in the North. It’s also a great social event.
About 300 species have been observed in Yukon, and over 200 migrate here each spring from locations as far away as South America.
The event starts 5 p.m. on Friday May 31 and ends 5 p.m. Saturday June 1. Participants can sign up sponsors who pledge donation amounts for the event, or for each species seen.
Begun as a Yukon Conservation Society fundraiser, it was co-run with the Yukon Bird Club after its founding in l996. It was renamed a few years ago in honour of the late long-time birder Helmut Grünberg.
If you can’t bird this year, or don’t know anyone doing the Birdathon, consider sponsoring our Feature Birders this year, the Piuze family (3 generations of birders!).
There’s a Birdathon Primer below describing the rules with reminders around ethical birding. For example, while participants may use Bird Apps to help identify a bird call or sound, using Apps to “call in” birds is not permitted. (Male birds may be distracted from their mating behaviours respond in ways that disrupt the mating season and waste valuable energy.)
YBC’s aim is to increase awareness and conservation of Yukon birds and their habitat. Funds raised support production of The Warbler, research, monitoring and education grants, and birding resources for field trips and public libraries.
Prize categories include youngest birder, oldest birder, most bird species seen by a family (2+ members), most seen by a youth, most seen by an Enviro-Birder (no driving).
But remember, the birdathon is also a social event with just a slight competitive edge. Bird species tallies will be announced and prize winners will be awarded at the event’s closing pot-luck BBQ (see below)
All participants and their families are welcome to attend our post-Birdathon social event, a potluck BBQ held at Robert Service Campground beginning at 6 pm on Saturday June 1. Bring something to BBQ and maybe something else to share if you can manage it. This is a garbage free event, so remember to bring your own plates, cups, cutlery. A folding chair may also come in handy as participants often outnumber the seating at the picnic tables! BBQs will be provided!
So mark it on your calendars and support the Helmut Grünberg Yukon Birdathon. Do it for a change (or lots of change)… Everyone welcome!