Science for a Blue Planet

Featuring cutting-edge work, discoveries, and challenges of our scientists, our partners, and the larger conservation science community.

Bird-A-Thon by Bicycle

The 45th Annual Rich Stallcup Bird-A-Thon is officially underway! September 15 – October 15, birders of all ages and skill levels are counting as many bird (and other) species as they can during a 24-hour period, encouraging people to sponsor them for their efforts, and raising critical funds for conservation. 

2023 Bird-A-Thon Verte Brats team. Credit: Lorrie Klosterman

Lorrie Klosterman and Aminy Ostfeld of team Verte Brats kicked off this year’s Bird-A-Thon with a day of birding by bicycle along a 4-mile coastal stretch of beautiful Santa Cruz, California. The Verte Brats encountered a variety of habitats along the way, including favorite nature spots such as West Cliff Drive, Lighthouse Field State Beach, Natural Bridges State Beach, Antonelli Pond, Younger Lagoon, Wilder Ranch State Park, and Neary Lagoon. 

“We are a two-generation pair of humans who enjoy finding, watching, illustrating, learning about, rescuing, protecting, and communing with other lifeforms on the planet. The Bird-a-Thon is one of the ways we have fun while contributing to a greater good: the essential work of Point Blue.”

 – Lorrie Klosterman and Aminy Ostfeld of team Verte Brats

The team surpassed their birding goal and spotted 62 species of birds, which included rare Willow Flycatcher and Eastern Kingbird sightings! 

Check out their bird list below!

Southern Alligator Lizard. Credit: Aminy Ostfeld

In addition to these bird sightings, the Verte Brats were thrilled to encounter nine kinds of mammals, three reptile species, and one amphibian, including the Southern alligator lizard, California sea lion, long-tailed weasel, and more. 

As an added bonus to their memorable day, these sightings meant that the Verte Brats met this year’s new Marcia Grand Bird-A-Thon Team Challenge: Any team that correctly identifies 1 animal from each of the following 3 taxonomic groups – Mammals, Amphibians, and Reptiles – will receive a $50 gift for their team total to support Point Blue. This challenge was inspired by Rich Stallcup, who recorded every living creature he saw during his Bird-A-Thon.

From September 15 – October 15, hundreds of birders and conservation enthusiasts alike choose a day to spend time in nature identifying as many bird species as possible through either sight or sound. Participate from anywhere in the world individually or create/join a team to make your count. Then encourage your friends, family, and co-workers to sponsor you, all to benefit conservation science.

To learn more and to register for the Bird-A-Thon, please click here.

The Verte Brats’ Bird List:

  1. Wood Duck
  2. Mallard
  3. Brandt’s Cormorant
  4. Pelagic Cormorant
  5. Double-crested Cormorant
  6. Pied-billed Grebe
  7. Brown Pelican
  8. Heerman’s Gull
  9. Western Gull
  10. Kildeer
  11. Whimbrel
  12. Black Turnstone
  13. Wandering Tattler
  14. Great Blue Heron
  15. Great Egret
  16. Snowy Egret
  17. Green Heron
  18. American Coot
  19. California Quail
  20. Wild Turkey
  21. Rock Pigeon
  22. Band-tailed Pigeon
  23. Eurasian Collared Dove
  24. Mourning Dove
  25. Turkey Vulture
  26. Red-tailed Hawk
  27. American Kestrel
  28. Great-horned Owl
  29. Anna’s Hummingbird
  30. Belted Kingfisher
  31. Hairy Woodpecker
  32. Steller’s Jay
  33. California Scrub Jay
  34. American Crow
  35. Common Raven
  36. Willow Flycatcher 
  37. Pacific-slope Flycatcher
  38. Black Phoebe
  39. Eastern Kingbird
  40. California Thrasher
  41. American Robin
  42. Wrentit
  43. Bushtit
  44. Chestnut-backed Chickadee
  45. Oak Titmouse
  46. Red-breasted Nuthatch
  47. Pygmy Nuthatch
  48. Bewick’s Wren
  49. Warbling Vireo
  50. Yellow Warbler
  51. Wilson’s Warbler
  52. Dark-eyed Junco
  53. Savannah Sparrow
  54. Song Sparrow
  55. California Towhee
  56. Spotted Towhee
  57. House Finch
  58. Lesser Goldfinch
  59. American Goldfinch
  60. Hooded Oriole
  61. Brewer’s Blackbird
  62. European Starling