Connecticut Audbon Society

Great fun for enthusiastic participants in 2023’s Migration Madness and Birdathon

Artist Keith Mueller donated this carving of a Rock Ptarmigan as a grand prize in the 2023 Migration Madness Birdathon. The winner was Joanne Bourque of Putnam.

2023 Migration Madness participants: 360
2023 Birdathon participants: 68
Species seen: 176
$$$ raised for bird conservation: $13,000

Scroll to see the prize winners and complete leaderboard for the 6th Annual Migration Madness Birdathon.

June 5, 2023 — Congratulations to Joanne Bourque of Pomfret and Frank Mantlik of Stratford, the big winners in this year’s Migration Madness Birdathon.

The big human winners, that is. The biggest winners of all were Connecticut’s birds, which will benefit from the $13,000 raised by 350-plus participants in the 6th annual event, held in mid May.

The 2023 Migration Madness featured more than a dozen programs — birds walks, bird banding, a family fun day in Old Lyme — plus the two-day Birdathon.

Winners of the Birdathon Photo Contest will be announced later this week.

Joanne Bourque win the grand prize in a random drawing open to all Birdathon participants who saw at least 40 species and and raised at least $40 over the weekend (for Young Birders, the thresholds were $25 and 25 species).

2023 Birdathon Winners

Grand Prize: Joanne Bourque of Putnam, chosen in a random drawing of all qualifying Birdathon participants — carving of a Rock Ptarmigan by artist Keith Mueller

Most species seen by an individual

  • First Place, 120 species, by Frank Mantlik of Stratford. Prize: an  original watercolor of a Green-tailed Towhee by artists Mark Szantyr.
  • Second Place: 92 species, by Michael Aurelia of Old Lyme. Prize: Photograph of a Connecticut bird by Patrick Comins (a ready-to-hang canvas print)

Most money raised by a Birdathon participant

  • First: Frank Mantlik, $1015 — Photograph of a Connecticut bird by Patrick Comins (a ready-to-hang canvas print).

Most Species Seen by a Birder Under 18

  • Tie: 70 species, by Kalel and Pavana Attonito, of Darien. 

    Prize: $25 gift card from REI. A Connecticut Audubon hat and squeaky bird.


The prize is a beautiful carving of a Rock Ptarmigan created by artist Keith Mueller of Killingworth. Keith has been a regular contributor of valuable, original artworks to the Birdathon and deserves great credit for his contributions to conservation in Connecticut.

The same goes for Mark Szantyr of Storrs, who has also contributed numerous art works as prizes. This year Frank Mantlik won an original watercolor that Mark created, of a Green-tailed Towhee.

Scott Yanco participated in his first Birdathon — he saw 84 species and raised $555. “We had a ton fun,” he said,. “Got the kids out for most of it (even in the rain) and had a blast at the family event at the Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center!”

Sharon Hirsch joined a Saturday bird walk in the damp weather at the Milford Point Coastal Center, and then spent part of Sunday birding in better weather.

At the Coastal Center, “I joined up with about seven intrepid bird watchers in the fog. We started at the marsh platform with two Yellow-crowned Night Herons right by the platform. We went out to the sand spit, just to the beginning of it and then turned around due to the rain starting. We found some things under the trees by the garden. Then the rain let up and back out we went. Saw a bunch of shore birds, including a Piping Plover keeping her chicks warm and two Osprey with fish.”

Thank you to the Migration Madness Birdathon sponsors

  • The New Canaan Conservation Commission
  • WSHU Public Radio
  • The Aquarion Water Company
  • Wells Fargo
  • Keith Mueller

Here are the complete Birdathon results. Asterisks indicate Connecticut Audubon staff, who were not eligible for prizes. You can find individual bird lists on eBird:

ADULT BIRDERSNumber of Species ADULT BIRDERSNumber of Species ADULT BIRDERSNumber of Species ADULT BIRDERSNumber of Species
Frank Mantlik120 Kate Howard72 Joyce Leiz*51 Steven Kessler28
Ken Elkins*108 Pavana Attonito70 Joanne Bourque48 Debra Taubner27
Patrick Comins*100 Kalel Attonito70 Michael Gentry44 Samantha DeMarco23
Joe Attwater*97 Barbara Kamicker70 Jennifer Gibson44 Sarah Middeleer21
Mike Aurelia92 Erin Bowen60 Carol Skog44 Kevin Kelley17
Aaron Bourque90 David Kaempfer60 David Cox*43 Abigail Hausberg13
Stefan Martin*90 Robert Gerard59 Gabriel McDonough42 Alice Hausberg13
Scott Yanco84 Jane Jacobson58 Linda Jarosik41 Ernie Hausberg13
Tom Andersen*84 Jennifer Titrud56 Louise Crocco*39   
Angela Dimmitt82 David Butt55 Jerid O’Connell36   
Sharon Hirsch82 Linda Ruth53 Lisa Tryon36   
Isabel Chenoweth75 Amanda Baker51 Michele Rybos31   



YOUNG BIRDERSNumber of Species YOUNG BIRDERSNumber of Species
Kalel Attonito70 Gabriel McDonough42
Pavana Attonito70   







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