At 7:00 p.m. on Friday, May 1, teams comprised of both rookie and veteran birders will take up their binoculars in search of as many bird species as they can see or hear. The annual Birding Cup is a 24 hour event, and in addition to being great fun and an opportunity to collect data on local bird species, is also Shaver’s Creek’s only annual fundraiser. In fact, 2015 marks the 26th year of bird-related fundraisers for Shaver’s Creek! In 1990, the event started to take shape as “Pledge-a-Bird,” a non-competitive fundraiser for the raptor center. By 1998, the Birding Cup format was adopted, and four teams competed for the one and only ‘Cup.
Now, over 20 teams of birders compete for multiple trophies, including the original Birding Cup, the County Cup, the Potter Mug, and the Birding Boot. Each trophy is designated for different achievements but prized by all participants. The culmination of the event will take place at Shaver’s Creek at 7:00 p.m. Saturday, May 2, where all birders are invited to share stories, delicious food, and their birding checklists.
Birders raise funds by collecting pledges per species or pledges in honor of their team, but flat donations are also accepted! Make your donation today at ShaversCreek.org/
Shaver’s Creek would like to thank those of you who have already pledged or donated this year! We would also like to thank the local businesses that sponsor the Birding Cup with donations, team prizes, and food for the birders: Wiscoy for Animals, Lost Creek Optics, Appalachian Outdoors, Purple Lizard Maps, Benjamin’s Catering, Collegiate Pride, Envinity, Dix Honda, and Nikon! Thank you!
This year’s donations will benefit an initiative to partner with landowners interested in turning their yards into homes for native species, as well as installing nest boxes at the center and in the surrounding Stone Valley Forest.These will serve as habitat conservation models for cavity nesting species such as Eastern Bluebirds, Eastern Screech-Owls, and Wood Ducks around the edge of the recently-refilled Lake Perez!
This year we are continuing to encourage the use of hashtag #BirdingCup on all social media platforms (especially Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook)! Any team can use #BirdingCup to celebrate a highlight, provide a status update, or check in for a morale boost. You are of course welcome to use the hashtag even if you aren’t birding to join in on the conversation and follow the event all day! By using the hashtag, we can weave fun stories together and celebrate everyone who participates.
Many teams will be competing for the overall Birding Cup category for most species seen, while others will stick to a single county (competing for the County Cup), or go for the Birding Boot by getting around with exclusively human-powered transportation: bikes, boats, and travel by foot. Teams with an average of less than two years’ experience birding will vie for the Potter Mug. Who will you support?
The 2015 teams:
The Sleeping Buteos
Tick McGreer & the Kickers
Osprey Can You See
Gone With The Wren
Purple R.R. Martin’s Larks of Winterfell
101 Ways to Use a Shoveler
The Andrew McCLUTCHen’s
Raiders of the Lost Lark pt. II — In Search of the Holy Rail
If your team has not yet registered, make sure you use our new Birding Cup Team Registration Form as soon as possible.
Last year’s County Cup winners, the Juniata Juncos (for last year’s wrap-up blog, click here)
Central PA Native Plant Festival
If you aren’t out birding all day, you should come to Shaver’s Creek for the 2015 Central Pennsylvania Native Plant Festival! From 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 2, the Center will be bustling with activity.
Admission to the festival is free, but come prepared to purchase a native plant or two for your home from a local vendor! For a list of available plants this year, download this PDF! (Contact specific vendors for more information or to place a pre-order.) Local food will also be available from EdenView Organics.
Topics of presentations this year include rain gardens, attracting pollinators, and a walk around Shaver’s Creek’s native plant gardens. Visit our Native Plant Festival page for many more details.
Whether you’ll spend this weekend chasing birds who have just migrated here, learning about natives and planting some in the spring soil, or simply supporting our birders and Shaver’s Creek through a donation, we hope this weekend will bring a great start to all of the wonderful things that come with early May!