CITF Volunteer Wins Bird Award

On June 20, 2012, the Delmarva Ornithological Society (DOS) awarded the “Rookie Bird-A-Thon” award to Christopher Johnas, volunteer coordinator for Clear into the Future®, and his brother Steve Johnas for identifying 102 bird species during their first Bird-A-Thon adventure.

birdathon Team Johnas Brothers

Team Johnas Brothers

The Johnas brothers participated in the sixth annual DOS Delaware Bird-A-Thon, a fundraising event where participants count the number of different bird species seen or heard in a 24 hour period. The goal of the Delaware Bird-A-Thon is to raise funds to protect habitat for migratory shorebirds and to fund migratory raptor research along the Delaware Bay. Clear into the Future® has been a sponsor of the Delaware Bird-A-Thon since its inaugural event in 2007.

To learn more about the Delaware Bird-A-Thon, visit:

Learn about the Johnas brothers’ first Bird-A-Thon experience:

3:00am–We started the 2012 Bird-A-Thon near Thompson’s Bridge at Woodlawn Wildlife Refuge. Right away we were greeted by the deep, hollow call of the Great Horned Owl! After walking a large loop, we heard the piercing hoots from a lone Barred Owl!

5:25am–One by one, the birds began to call. We set out to begin the ‘birding bonanza.’ Our bird identification list was adding up quick!

7:00am–Birds such as the White-Eyed Vireo, Great Crested Flycatcher, and Scarlet Tanager were exciting sites to see amongst the various warbler species.

birdathon scarlet tanager

Scarlet Tanager

8:30am–We made our way to Brandywine Creek State Park. Species such as the Bobolink, Eastern Meadow Lark, and Savannah Sparrow were spotted in this extensive habitat.

10:30am–After nearly eight miles of hiking with our binoculars glued to our eyes, and necks twisted in every direction, we finished our first segment of the day with 70 birds!

birdathon indigo bunting

Indigo Bunting

12:00pm–We arrived at Bombay Hook Wildlife Refuge. Observations of Willet, Black Necked Stilt, and a Marsh Wren were made here amongst many other interesting birds. After a fun two hours of birding, and key observations of a Bald Eagle and Screech Owl, we headed south again.

birdathon bald eagle

Bald Eagle

5:00pm–Arriving at Cape Henlopen, we were now only two shy of  our original goal of 100! Within the thick woods we spooked several Black-Crowned Night Herons from their roosting site on the tops of some pine trees. A Pine Warbler was also spotted.

Bedtime–In between the noises of fellow campers and a few crying babies, we finished out our long day hearing the call of the Whip-poor-will.

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