2022 Migration Madness: Hundreds of people enjoy a great weekend of birds
2022 Migration Madness participants: 400 +
2022 Birdathon participants: 108
Species seen: 186
$$$ raised for bird conservation: $21,344
Scroll to see the prize winners and complete leaderboard for the 5th Annual Migration Madness Birdathon.
June 6, 2022 — Great weather, energetic and enthusiastic participants, and one truly amazing bird species added up to a great Migration Madness weekend.
One hundred and eight people participated in the weekend’s Birdathon, the fundraising centerpiece of the weekend celebration.
More than 100 people attended two bird migration presentations online. Almost 150 people went on bird walks led by Connecticut Audubon’s experts at our sanctuaries and elsewhere. Two hundred people enjoyed migration celebrations at the Center at Pomfret and at the Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center in Old Lyme. And two dozen people entered the annual Birdathon Photo Contest (click here for the winners)..
2022 Birdathon Winners
Grand Prize: Isabella Rossi of New Haven, chosen in a random drawing – Tufted Puffin watercolor by artist Keith Mueller
Adult Birder Competitions
Most Species Seen all Weekend by an Individual
Most Money Raised by an Individual
Most Money Raised by a First-Time Participant
Most Species Seen by a Team
Young Birder Competitions
Most Species Seen by a Birder Under 18
But maybe the biggest splash was made by the dozens of Arctic Terns blown in from the Atlantic in time for the Birdathon. They spent at least a day on the state’s lakes and reservoirs, where they dipped into the waters in search of fish to fuel their interrupted journey north.
The unusual easterly winds that brought in the terns also kept some migratory species away — the total for the Birdathon was 186, about 20 fewer than last year. But for the handful of people who saw the Arctic Terns on May 13, it might have been a worthwhile tradeoff.
The places to be were Bantam Lake in Litchfield and the Saugatuck Reservoir in Weston. Nine Birdathon participants saw the Arctic Terns, including Frank Mantlik, Stefan Martin, and Steve Mayo, who finished first, second and third in the number of species seen for the weekend.
Liz and David Jaffin saw them as well.
“We were lucky with the Arctic Terns,” said Liz, who reported 97 species for the weekend. “We read about them late morning but both of us had to work and we didn’t get to Bantam Lake until around 5. We looked and didn’t see them initially and then someone else spotted them way on the either side of the lake.”
Those who saw the Arctic Terns were among the most experienced birders in the state. But the Birdathon is for all skill levels and all ages.
Justin McDonough accompanied his 11-year-old son, Gabriel, as they reported an impressive 51 species. Mekhala Attonito took her two children, Pavana, age 11, and Kalel, 9, to the Milford Point Coastal Center for their second Birdathon. They each saw 66 species.
“We made sure to carve out time to head out there this weekend as we knew that would bump our numbers up,” Mekhala said. “We also had a scope this year and, since we’re a little slower with identification, taking photos and zooming in at home with the bird guides helped too. I sure hope we got that Semipalmated Sandpiper right (our decision hinged on the color of the legs!).”
At the end of the weekend, Frank Mantlik, who in addition to seeing the most species (145) also raised the most money over the weekend ($3,050), emailed the many people around the state who supported him with donations and pledges.
“Milford Point and the Coastal Center are near and dear to my heart,” he wrote. “I had fun birding for a great cause, supporting all that Connecticut Audubon does for birds, conservation, environmental education, and sanctuary upkeep.”
Thank you to the Migration Madness Birdathon sponsors
- The New Canaan Conservation Commission
- The Aquarion Water Company
- Oak Lawn Cemetery and Arboretum
- O & G Industries
- Webster Bank
A special thank you to artist Keith Mueller for donating as grand prizes two original watercolors he painted as part of a field guide illustration project.
Isabella Rossi won his Tufted Puffin painting in the random grand prize drawing. Robert Gerard won his Ancient Murrelet painting as a first-place prize in the Birdathon photo contest.
The drawing was open to any adult participants who saw at least 40 species and raised at least $40, and any young birders for saw 25 and raised $25.
The leaders (asterisks indicate Connecticut Audubon staff, who were not eligible for prizes). You can find individual bird lists on eBird:
|ADULT BIRDERS||Number of Species||ADULT BIRDERS||Number of Species||ADULT BIRDERS||Number of Species||ADULT BIRDERS||Number of Species|
|Frank Mantlik||145||Clinton Standart||92||Jim Arrigoni*||59||Jennifer Hollstein||28|
|Stefan Martin*||141||Clara Stelzel||91||David Gifford||57||Aiden Klein||28|
|Steve Mayo||125||Jennifer Titrud||75||Joyce Leiz*||54||Silvia Goncalves||27|
|Aaron Bourque||123||Joanne Bourque||75||Monique Nixon||53||Kevin Kelley||25|
|Joe Attwater*||122||Derik Bowen||73||Gabriel McDonough||51||Jessica Paine||22|
|Anne McNulty||118||Michele Burnat||73||Lorraine Plante||51||Mary Casey||22|
|Erin Bowen||112||Robert Gerard||69||Michael Gentry||51||Sarah Middeleer||22|
|John Cunninghamn||108||Celeste Echlin||66||Susan Schaller||48||Alison Mead||21|
|Kelly Siranko||103||Kalel Attonito||66||Joseph Nizzardo||45||Renee Gregory Malo||20|
|Patrick Comins*||102||Pavana Attonito||66||Isabella Rossi||44||Kim Hoffman||16|
|Liz Jaffin||97||Michele Rybos||64||Charlotte Stoeckle.|
|David Jaffin||97||Steven Kessler||62||Michele McDermott||41||David Butt||12|
|Imani Rodriguez||95||Bob & Debbie Slack||60||Erin Murphy-Durette||33||Carolyn Doan||4|
|Morgan Werner||95||Tom Andersen*||60||Stephanie Zoltewicz||33|
|Sharon Hirsch||95||Amy Porter||59||Daysie Kratz||31|
|Michael Aurelia||93||Andy Rzeznikiewicz*||59||Tai Pimputkar||31|
|YOUNG BIRDERS||Number of Species||YOUNG BIRDERS||Number of Species|
|Kalel Attonito||66||Gabriel McDonough||51|
|Pavana Attonito||66||Aiden Klein||28|