American Coot
American Coot

Birdathon Dates May 1 – 31

The Birdathon has been a fundraiser of WMAS for many years. It is an opportunity to help White Mountain Audubon Society raise money for the educational programs we sponsor and support. The main program is our $1,000 scholarship awarded to a White Mountain area high school senior. The other program, Audubon Adventures, is an environmental education program for grades 3-7. It develops an understanding of scientific concepts by way of accurate information about birds and wildlife.

The steps to participate are: volunteers ask their family, friends and coworkers to sponsor them with a donation to WMAS. Then spend time birdwatching to see how many different species you can see in the month. Inform your sponsors of the birds you saw, how many total species and where seen. Collect money from sponsors and turn in to Tom Jernigan, WMAS treasurer, in June. Use the WMAS Audubon address: P.O. Box 3043, Pinetop, AZ 85935. Turn in a list of all the birds you see in June to Mary Williams.

Please consider doing the Birdathon yourself or sponsor someone who is doing it. May is the perfect time to bird in the White Mountains with all the local birds and the migrants returning or passing through.

Global Big Day

Saturday, May 14

The North American Migration Count (NAMC) has grown now to be a global annual event, called the “Global Big Day.” It is a day to get out and see as many birds as possible. The Global Big Day in Arizona is Saturday, May 8. Birders record their species seen, and individuals counted, and contribute to a growing database of changes or trends in bird populations and movements over time. Data will now be collected and organized through the free, open website eBird (, making it much easier for birders to submit their information. Be a part of Global Big Day in Arizona! Go birding anywhere on Saturday, May 8 (of course we are keen to get some good bird sightings in Navajo, Apache, and Greenlee counties). Keep track of the birds you see and the number of individuals. After your wonderful birdwatching outing, log onto eBird and input your data under the “Submit Observations” tab at the top.

If you have used eBird before, it is handled like any other trip list. If you have not used eBird, this is a great opportunity to get started.

Set up a free account and then submit your observations. From now on, you can create online trip lists that others can see, and you can start creating your permanent electronic journal of your bird sightings. You can add older trips to your account, and use eBird as a digital diary of your life list. Last year’s Global Big Day featured more than 60% of the world’s bird species in a single day, with sightings coming in from more than 17,500 eBirders spread across 154 countries.

Here are a couple of quick ways to have the most fun:

1. “Scout” your birding spots for May 9. Finding where the birds are ahead of time makes the big day birding more fun, and also gives you more chances to be out enjoying birds. Learn how to use eBird to find birds.

2. Get a friend involved. Perhaps this is a good birding buddy, or someone who has never been birding before. Make it a friendly competition, or join forces as a Global Big Day team. Check it out on Facebook. No matter what you do—have a great time, enjoy the birds around you, and let us know what you find!

Timber Mesa Christmas Bird Count

December 31, 2022

The Timber Mesa CBC is held each year between Dec 14th and Jan 5th. The first CBC was held in 1900 and is the largest, longest-running animal census on earth. The citizen science program collects data each year that is vital for land management decisions and wildlife policy. There is no fee to participate and the annually published report, American Birds, will be available online.

WMAS participants will meet on Saturday, December 31, 2022. Then we divide into groups to cover the designated 15-mile wide diameter circle as much as possible. Birders count species and the numbers of each species, record their sightings and then turn in what they saw to the count compiler, Mary Williams (480) 235-1792.

The White Mountain area is known for its wintering waterfowl and Bald Eagles. Some birds seen on recent CBCs are: Canvasback, Redhead Duck, Hooded Merganser, Common Goldeneye, Common Merganser, Northern Harrier, Sharp-shinned Hawk, American kestrel, Townsend’s Solitaire, and Belted Kingfisher. All levels of birding are welcome.