HUNTINGTON-The song of the white-throated sparrow is my true harbinger of spring. Its clear, melodious "Oh-sweet-Canada" whistles through my neighborhood in northeastern Addison County and reminds me of the thousands of migratory songbirds returning to Vermont.
This bird's song also signals the return of the Green Mountain Audubon Center's annual Birdathon in Huntington. The center is located at 255 Sherman Hollow Road.
The Birdathon is like a walkathon, but instead of counting miles, participants spend a spring day outdoors counting birds.
Local Audubon staff will hike at least 5 miles and then bike 10 more miles to see or hear as many as 85 different species of birds during the 24-hour Birdathon this month.
Birdathon contributions will stay locally providing young people with engaging opportunities to connect with nature, scholarships to attend summer camp, and school programs throughout the year.
The Birdathon helps local landowners manage habitat for native bird species, many of which are declining dramatically and need our help. The center continues to work with dozens of AddisonCounty landowners already so that the songs we hear each spring can continue into the future.
Here are three ways to support Addison County's Birdathon:
-Make an online donation. Go to the "Birder" box at the top of the page.
-Become a sponsor. Make a pledge per bird species ($2 per species) or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to submit your pledge.
-Visit online at http://vt.audubon.org/ birdathon.html to get started, create your own Birdathon team, and join in on the fun.
A gift will help sustain the center's education and conservation work.