Blitz 4-30-16

Birding Blitz 2016

Join us for the 15th Annual Birding Blitz Competition to be held on Saturday, April 30, 2016!

Competition and Registration Information

The Birding Blitz is an event held where teams compete to see and hear the most species of birds in a 24-hour period, while raising money for conservation in southernmost Illinois. Teams can search for birds throughout the area of southernmost Illinois, from Jackson, Williamson, Saline, and Gallatin counties south through Union, Johnson, Pope, Hardin, Alexander, Pulaski, and Massac counties. This area includes cypress swamps, upland forests, grasslands, and big rivers. Public lands in the area include Cypress Creek National Wildlife Refuge, Cache River State Natural Area, Mermet State Fish and Wildlife Area, Horseshoe Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area, Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge, Giant City State Park, Trail of Tears State Forest, and the Shawnee National Forest. Birds counted along the Mississippi, Ohio and Wabash Rivers must be no further than half way across the river when seen or heard.

Two birdwatchers look to the sky.

Check out the 2014 Birding Blitz winners and a composite list of species located in southernmost Illinois during the past Birding Blitz competitions, which includes Common and Scientific names and order as per the Illinois Ornithological Society. To view the species list, click here.  For a list of last year's winners, click here.

All teams must follow the American Birding Association's Big Day Count rules, a copy of which will be provided upon registration and can be reviewed at With the exception of category "Open B," teams may make observations as early as 12:01 a.m. on April 30th and continue until as late as 11:59 p.m. that night.

There are five competition categories. Teams must have a minimum of two members.

The registration fee to compete is $25 per team member ($10 each for students). Prizes will be awarded to the winning team in each of the five competition categories. All team members will receive a Cache River Nature Fest t-shirt.

Looking for Avians

Shore Birding

Bicycle birdwatchers try to catch a glimps of a unique feathered friend.

After the designated 24-hour competition period is completed, each team submits a list of birds documented to the Birding Blitz Awards Committee to determine winning teams. Winning teams in each competition category are announced and awarded prizes during the Birding Blitz Awards Brunch held the day after the competition.

2016 Birding Blitz Competition winning teams will be announced and prizes awarded at a brunch on Sunday, May 1, at the Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center, 8588 IL Route 148, Marion.

Pledging for 2016 is optional but encouraged. Prior to the Birding Blitz competition, teams are encouraged to gather pledges for each bird species recorded. After the awards event, each team is responsible for collecting their pledge donations. Donations will be used to help support habitat restoration and preservation efforts in the Cache River Watershed. In 2015, Blitz participants collected over $3,390 in pledges! For a printable pledge form, click here (it will open in a new window).

Birding Blitz Registration

Registrations must be postmarked by April 20, 2016 to avoid late registration charge. Click here for a printable registration form (it will open in a new window). Complete this form then forward it to:

Birding Blitz Registration
c/o Southern Illinois Audubon Society
P.O. Box 222
Carbondale, IL 62903-0222

For more information, contact: Joe Merkelbach at or Rhonda Rothrock at / 618.684.6605.


The Birding Blitz of Southernmost Illinois is coordinated by the Southern Illinois Audubon Society. Sponsors include the Friends of the Cache River Watershed, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

Southern Illinois Audubon Society Friends of the Cache Fish & Wildlife Service ILL Dept. of Natural Resources Sponsors

The Birding Blitz of Southernmost Illinois is a sister event to the Cache River Nature Fest scheduled for Saturday, May 7, 2016, 10am-4pm at the Barkhausen Cache River Wetlands Center, Cypress, IL


© 2016 Southern Illinois Audubon Society. All Rights Reserved.