Who are these Raven Loonatics?
Who is on your Birdathon team? Do you have different roles on your team? Bruce Hill (missing from the pic), Gerco Hoogeweg, Larry Meade, Donna Quinn.
Donna is the Designated Driver who somehow manages to stay on the road even while looking for birds through the sunroof. Special talents include making abrupt U-turns while eating a snack and drinking tea.
Gerco is Birder Extraordinaire and also has the sacred role of Keeping the List.
Larry usually finds One More Bird which has made all the difference.
And Bruce, well Bruce can hear a bird from the car going 45 miles an hour. He is our Location Expert and knows every nook and cranny we might find a bird and what that bird is.
When are you doing your birdathon? Saturday, May 5, rain date May 6. We usually start around 4:30 AM and bird until 8:30 PM or so.
How many species to you hope to get? Two years ago, Mary Ann Good put together a list of the birds seen by all the teams in the Birdathon. Combined, we found 125 species. Raven Loonatics would like to find as many as we possibly can – 125 would be nice. We always hope to beat our number from the previous year so this year we will hope to count at least 110 species.
How much money do you hope to raise as a team? We are so grateful to all Birdathon sponsors for their generosity and support. It would be fantastic if the teams could collectively raise $10,000 for the birds!
What bird(s) are you stretching to get this year? We always make extra effort for Loggerhead Shrike and Red-headed Woodpeckers as they are hard for us to find in the eastern part of the county.
We like to get our namesakes, ravens and loons. We always hope to see as many owl species as possible, just because it’s so cool to see owls.
How long has your team been doing this? This will be our 3rd year.
What’s the best part of the birdathon? Running around like chickens with our heads cut off. Being together – birds of a feather…
What’s the toughest part of the day? Listening to Larry’s puns such as, “Remember, never eat a bittern. It will leave a bittern taste in your mouth!”. Watching Gerco eat Cheetos. Imaging the pain tall Bruce must experience sitting in my small car all day. Being a female with three males and roughing it without a bathroom all day. Around 2 pm the ’Loonies’ hit us – we begin to hallucinate we won’t see another bird for the rest of the day. They pass when we (finally) see a new bird species.
Why do you/members of your team do the birdathon? We love birds and want to protect bird habitat in Loudoun County.
What do you do in preparation for the count? The Birdathon gives us a good excuse to go birding, ‘We HAVE to go birding because the Birdathon is in (x) weeks!’
What place do you most look forward to birding during the birdathon and why? Seeing the sunrise over the Potomac is a very special way to start our day. In the past we’ve finished the day at the Dulles Wetlands which is a peaceful and beautiful place to end our day – and usually provides a couple more birds for The List.