This year’s Delaware Bird-A-Thon will focus on protecting, preserving and adding to the important habitat of Mispillion Harbor Reserve.

Located on the Delaware Bay, 7 miles east of Milford, this natural habitat is like no other in the world. Here, the horseshoe crab breeds without interruption, providing a vital food source in the form of eggs to such important species of Arctic-nesting shorebirds as red knots, ruddy turnstones, sanderlings, semipalmated sandpipers, dunlins and short-billed dowitchers.

Sponsored by the Delaware Ornithological Society, the 2019 Delaware Bird-A-Thon is set for May 4-12 and is open to all.

Through an anonymous matching-fund grant of up to $100,000, the formidable goal of raising the necessary funds for the land acquisition is made possible.

“We are fortunate to have secured this matching-fund grant which makes every dollar raised worth two dollars,” said Bill Stewart, founder and organizer of the event.

The success of this fundraiser will allow DOS and The Conservation Fund to jointly purchase the property and incorporate it into the 74-acre Mispillion Harbor Reserve.

To accomplish this task, the Bird-A-Thon must have a record-breaking response to make this a reality.

“In addition to driving more participation in this year’s Bird-A-Thon, we are making special efforts to generate financial donations from individuals, corporations and organizations who value the importance of conservation in our state,” said Stewart.

“The easiest and most enjoyable way to support DOS is through its annual Delaware Bird-A-Thon, either by participating yourself, or by pledging to someone who is,” said Researcher Scott Weidensaul, author of “Living on the Wind: Across the Hemisphere with Migratory Birds” which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 2000.

For donation and participation details, visit delawarebirdathon.com.