Science for a Blue Planet

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Point Blue Rich Stallcup Bird-A-Thon FAQ

Point Blue’s Bird-A-Thon has been happening for 45 years now, every fall migration season, from mid-September to mid-October. Our goal each year is to invite more folks into the fold to appreciate nature and learn how to be part of conservation action. We created this FAQ as a reminder for returning Bird-A-Thonners and a resource for new recruits. We will be adding to this list as questions pop up. If you have questions, please reach out to us at

Q: What is a Bird-A-Thon?
A: The Bird-A-Thon is a similar format to a bike-a-thon or walk-a-thon, with participants requesting support from friends and family to reach their fundraising goal. Supporters can either make a flat donation or they can make a pledge based on the number of bird species spotted (similar to a walk-a-thon in which you can pledge by mile).

Q: How does a bird count work?
A: Count as many species of birds as you can identify—either by sight or sound—and record your total to include on your online fundraising page. For help identifying birds you see or hear, visit and click on ‘Get Instant ID Help’.

Q: Do I have to join a team?
A: You can create your own team, join an existing one or bird on your own! Register here.

Q: What if I’m not an experienced birder?
A: Bird with us! Visit our Events page for more information about in-person and virtual birding events hosted by Point Blue.

Q: Are there certain locations I have to go birding in order to participate?
A: You can participate in the Bird-A-Thon from anywhere in the world!

Q: My birding friends don’t live near me. Do we all have to go birding together to be on the same Bird-A-Thon team?
A: You can have team members spread throughout the county, state, country, or world. You just need to be birding within the same 24-hour period together. For your reports to your supporters, it’s good to record where your species were detected.

Q: Where do I submit my birding list?
A: Log in to your fundraising page, click on “My Account”, select “edit your info” from the drop-down, and fill out the fields: How many bird species did you actually identify? And “Birds seen”

Q: How do you know if the correct bird has been identified?
A: A commonly accepted rule amongst birders is to have at least one other person confirm your ID before you can record that species.

Q: What about other animals that I see?
A: This year’s event isn’t just for the birds! Any team that correctly identifies 1 animal from each of the following 3 taxonomic groups will receive a $50 gift for their team total to support Point Blue – Mammals, Amphibians, and Reptiles. Record and report your three correctly identified animal species when you submit your bird species list. This challenge was inspired by Rich Stallcup who recorded every living creature he saw during his Bird-A-Thon.

Q: Who was Rich Stallcup?
A: Read a touching account of Rich’s life and legacy from fellow naturalist John Winter in this Western Field Ornithologists article.

Q: Is it 24 hours in one place?
A: Our rules are somewhat flexible because the main goal is to have fun and raise funds for conservation. You can have a team that’s spread out geographically all birding within one consecutive 24-hour period. If your teammates are experienced and reliable in their ID skills you could have individuals that are spread out, but if not, it’s good to have at least two team members in each location so that they can confirm each other’s IDs.

Q: When will the results be announced?
A: Plans are underway for a post-event celebration to be held in early 2024. Stay tuned!

Q: Can I contribute to the Bird-A-Thon without registering and creating a password?
A: Yes! You can support an individual, team, or make a general contribution to the Bird-A-Thon without creating an online account. Please visit the Bird-A-Thon donation page.

Q: Is my donation to the Bird-A-Thon tax-deductible?
A: The Bird-A-Thon fundraiser conveys no benefits to the donor (gifts are fully tax-deductible) and all contributions go toward supporting Point Blue’s mission. Point Blue Conservation Science’s EIN number is: 941594250.

Q: I have Bird-A-Thon sponsors who do not wish to donate online. How can they support my fundraising efforts?
A: Donations by check should be made out to Point Blue Conservation Science and sent to:

The Rich Stallcup Bird-A-Thon
Point Blue Conservation Science
3820 Cypress Drive, Suite 11
Petaluma, CA 94954

If you have sponsors who send checks to you, please send any donations collected to Point Blue Conservation Science. Please do not hold on to donations for more than two (2) weeks.

Q: I have friends in other countries who want to support me. How can international supporters make a Bird-A-Thon donation?
A: Donors outside of the U.S. who would like to support the Bird-A-Thon, can click here and select their country. In the “Comments” field, they should make sure to include the Bird-A-Thon individual or team they are supporting so that we can add it to their fundraising tally.

Have more questions? Reach out to us at