It's that time of year again — time to start planning for this year's Birdlife Victoria Twitchathon to be held over the weekend of 16–17 November. This year we are running three competitions — the 24-hour Twitchathon, the 8-hour Twitchathon, and for the first time, a Big Sit!
The idea of a Big Sit is that instead of traipsing all over the state, your team remains within a 5.2m (17 foot) circle for 24 hours! The aim of the Big Sit is still to identify as many species as possible within the 24 hour period, but without moving — so this competition would appeal to those that are either not able to or don't want to spend their weekend driving.
The second major change that we've made to the competition this year is that ALL team registration and ALL sponsorship is now done online using the well-known charitable donation and sponsorship website, JustGiving. This has the benefit of allowing teams to register right up to the last minute. Another benefit is that sponsors will immediately receive their receipt for tax deduction purposes.
Go to the Just Giving website to register your team. Once you have registered your team you will automatically create a web address in the form of “www.justgiving.com/teams/your-team-name”. Simply give this web address to your sponsors so that they can sponsor or donate on behalf of your team. Detailed instructions for sponsoring a team are available on our webpage.
All proceeds from the BirdLife Victoria Twitchathon are used to fund ornithological research in Victoria. Each year BirdLife Victoria selects a number of tertiary students conducting bird-related research in Victoria and funds part of their research projects.
If you have any questions regarding the JustGiving website, contact Edward Elston at BirdLife Australia. For information on the Twitchathon, please contact Tim Bawden.
Every year across Australia, hundreds of passionate and sometimes fanatical birdwatchers race around the Australian bush trying to win a unique sporting event called a Twitchathon. As a race, it can be fiercely competitive, not just in terms of the birds seen but also in terms of the funds that are raised for conservation.
What is a Twitchathon?
Put simply, a twitchathon is like a walkathon but, instead of recording kilometres, participants record bird species. It involves teams of birdwatchers racing around their respective States trying to identify, through sight or sound, as many bird species as possible in 24 hours. The race is run annually as a fundraising event organised by Birds Australia's regional groups.
Why participate in a Twitchathon?
The rewards of doing a twitchathon are many. Foremost, you go birdwatching in Spring. Importantly, each year participants raise valuable sponsorship for environmental conservation and education. Funds in Victoria have been donated to the BirdLife Victoria Research Grants, which are awards of excellence for tertiary students studying ornithology.
In order to participate in a Twitchathon in Victoria, you will need to form a team, read and understand the rules, fill in a Registration Form for your team, organise some sponsors and register them and plan a route. (Please note that sponsor payment guidelines are included in the Twitchathon Rules document below.) You can race in the more serious 24-hour event or stroll around more leisurely in the 8-hour one. Details are provided below.
The next Victorian Twitchathon is on the weekend of the 16th and 17th of November 2013.
M: 0419 516 669
E: [email protected]