The 26th Annual Bennett Birding Classic

“For the Backyard Birder who wants to venture a little further afield”

Each autumn for the last 25 years, Island Nature Trust and Nature PEI have joined forces in a team event for birds and nature. The Neil Bennett Autumn Birding Classic is both a fund raiser and an important citizen science event. This year, we are pleased and relieved to say that the show will go on! To make it a success, we need you to simply make a pledge or, better still, form a birding team (it can be a backyard bird count team with friends or a field team) and collect pledges for the great work being done on natural areas conservation!

Join the Lead Team with members Dwaine Oakley, Nicole Murtagh, Ray Cooke and Dan McAskill or enter a team of your own and spend up to 24 hours in the quest to find as many species as possible on PEI. 

This years' Youth Bennett is replaced with the Backyard Bird Scavenger Hunt. Download the itinerary here

Pledge Collection Instructions

1. First decide whether you wish to lead you own team or if you wish to use the Trust’s Lead Team.

2. Register via the button below so that the Trust can verify that you are either a Team Leader collecting pledges or a pledge collector using the Trust’s Lead Team. 

3. If you are using the Trust’s Lead Team, you can begin collecting pledges right away by using the pledge sheet that you can either pick up from our office or we can mail out to you. Simply collect pledges by completing the pledge sheet and have pledgers verify the amount. If it’s a flat rate pledge, you can collect right away or you can collect it after the count is done. We will need your completed pledge sheet sent to us within two weeks of after count itself.

4. When asking for pledges, the following information may be of assistance:

  • Sponsored bird counts used as fund raisers have been of fundamental importance in supporting nature conservation in Canada;
  • the Neil Bennett Autumn Birding Classic Fund Raiser has raised over $47,000 for natural areas conservation particularly old growth forests on PEI. Each dollar raised levers at least two or more dollars;
  • the Neil Bennett Autumn Birding Classic is conducted under American Birding Association Big
    Day Rules to ensure fairness and conservation;
  • the birding information collected will be published in Nature PEI’s Island Naturalist newsletter so that new editions of the Field Checklist of Birds of Prince Edward Island are more accurate. The information is also accessible to scientists exploring research on bird migration and other areas;
  • once pledges are received, tax receipts will be issued for all amounts of $10 or more or upon request.

Post count pledge collector instructions:

1. Collect your pledges using the hard-copy Pledge Sheet and be sure to fill in all the information.
Please check that is complete and legible.

2. Pledges may be made on a flat pledge amount or on a per species basis (the lead team last year found 91species). If you have formed you own team, you can make the calculations based on what your team observed or, if you wish, to use the Trust’s Lead Team results. These results will be emailed to you so you can make the calculations. Let us know which you prefer.

3. If you need more pledge sheets, please email the Trust at or call us at 902-66-9150. Please do not photocopy pledge sheets as we need to keep track of how many are in circulation.

4. Pledge cheques should be made payable to Island Nature Trust, and all pledges can be returned to the Trust at P.O. Box 265, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7K4.

5. All pledges must be forwarded to the Island Nature Trust on or before October 12th, 2020.

6. Thanks for helping nature on the Island and have fun!

Additional Resources

Event Details

Location: – Multiple venues

Price:  Collection of Pledges

Date:  Saturday, September 12th (Weather Date Sept. 26)

Time: Determined by your team

What You Need: Curiosity and a keen eye

Max Number of Participants:  None

Note: The personal information collected in this form are for the administration of the Neil Bennett Autumn Birding Classic Fund Raiser. The information will not be released outside of the Island Nature Trust.

September 12th, 2020 8:00 AM

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