Saturday, September 29, 2018
Each autumn for the last 23 years, Island Nature Trust and Nature PEI have joined forces in a team event for birds and nature.
The Bennett Fall Birding Classic is a fundraiser and a significant birding event. Teams with 3 to 7 members gather pledges and then on September 29 head out in the wee hours of the morning to find as many species of birds as possible in one 24-hour period.
This marathon count is a great opportunity to get involved in bird watching at any level. Island Nature Trust and Nature PEI would love to see more teams get involved in the friendly competition. The challenges are flying from team to team for the most funds raised and most kilometers travelled in this quest.
For serious birders, the Bennett, named after the late Neil Bennett (dedicated Piping Plover volunteer), will gather information on both migrating and overwintering bird species in PEI. The Bennett bird count, when combined with other counts carried out at different times of the year, can identify changes in population levels, migration patterns and timing. Rare birds are often sighted in this one-day event. Strict rules are followed to avoid interfering with bird behaviour or causing harm.
The expert team, led by Dan McAskill, could spend as much as 20 hours in the field, exploring many PEI birding hotspots. Anyone may enter a team. Young birders can join INT staff for the Youth Bennett taking place on the same day from 9 to 11 am.
Everyone is invited to form a team (or join a team) and collect pledges. Teams will strive to break the record of 108 species counted in 24 hours.