Teams of birdwatchers with flighty names such as the Bird Brains, Girly Birds and Gonzo Birders are gearing up for the 25th annual Tucson Audubon Society Birdathon.

The society is urging avid bird-watchers - and people who just enjoy birds - to sign up as soon as possible for the April 20-29 fundraising event so they have plenty of time to gather pledges.

"It's a really fun fundraiser because it's a great way to get out and enjoy our environment - and also spread the word on conservation to friends and family members," said Kara Kaczmarzyk, volunteer and development coordinator for the Audubon Society.

Kaczmarzyk said the Birdathon "is the one time of the year when birders let their competitive side out" as they seek to spot as many bird species as possible during the event.

Participants may go online - - to register, form teams or join teams led by expert birders.

"Upon registering, you'll have your personal fundraising page set up, which you can customize," Kaczmarzyk said. "People can donate through the website," but contributions of cash or checks also will be accepted.

She said pledges may be gathered on a per-species or flat donation basis - with proceeds used for Audubon Society education programs.

On StarNet: Get to know our feathered friends by browsing the Critters of Southern Arizona database at

birdathon basics

• The 25th annual Tucson Audubon Society Birdathon takes place April 20-29. Organizers of the fundraising event recommend forming bird-spotting teams now to allow time for gathering pledges.

• Participants may form their own teams, join a team led by an expert or simply make a contribution.

• For additional information or to register go online to birdathon to register

Contact reporter Doug Kreutz at or at 573-4192.