Thank You Letters

Sample “Thank You Letters” from Previous Years

Many birders have found that their sponsors like to hear about the highlights of their excursion, so they have gotten into the habit of sending out a “thank you” letter to all their sponsors. This narrative provides a personal touch of a real Big Day, which gives the sponsor the opportunity to share in the excitement of the real event and has proven to be amazingly popular, significant and prized by sponsors. It allows them to share even more deeply in the event they helped sponsor and gives them greater involvement and ownership.

Letter from Michael


Dear Columbus Audubon Birdathon Supporter,

Greetings to you. We just wanted to let you know this year’s Birdathon has been a resounding success, due to people like YOU who chose to get involved and become an active, contributing part in this significant event. Together, we can all pitch in and really make a difference. Each person plays a major role in this great team project.

Your investment will go to help both people and nature. This year we have designated the funds to be used to construct wildlife observation structures at Calamus Swamp, our prized, new official wildlife refuge. The boardwalk is already in place, and open for your enjoyment. Calamus Swamp is just far enough away to maintain natural integrity, yet is also close enough to easily visit. It is just 20 minutes south of Columbus. Take Route 104 south from Columbus towards Circleville. When you come to the intersection of Route 104 and Route 22, continue south on Route 104 approx. 1/10 mile. Look for the parking lot on your left. It comes up quickly, just as you approach a crest in the road.

This place is such a crowned jewel for so many reasons. It is of glacial origin, so its roots are long, stable and pristine. It has been protected by a long family legacy. They knew, appreciated, and respected it. Consequently, it was spared the fate that has befallen 95% of Ohio’s original wetlands. Professionals who know quality natural areas have been well aware of Calamus Swamp for over 30 years. When the time was right, members of our own Audubon leadership sought out the landowner. After much careful consideration and deep soul- searching, the owner made her decision that it would be in the best interest of all involved for her to entrust the property to the organization she believed would be wise stewards: The Columbus Audubon Society. She wanted to do something significant in her family’s name for others; she wanted to make sure the wetland was protected, and she wanted others, both now and into the future, to experience this great place that she has been so blessed to know all her life.

So, you see? You chose to get involved in a truly valuable project, one that touches other’s lives and helps protect and share a vital, significant and priceless natural place… …Living up to the Audubon call.



Letter from John S

Dear Sponsors:

Thank you for your support for the Audubon Birdathon.

This year we adventured to Northwestern Ohio and the shores of Lake Erie for most of our birding. We visited Maumee Bay State Park, Crane Creek State Park, and Magee Marsh.

There were a lot of Great Egrets and Great Blue Herons along the dikes at Magee Marsh. We were surprised that we didn’t see more ducks and other waterfowl.

Some of the best sightings:

* We had a nice long look at a Blackburnian Warbler. It was one of the first birds we saw along the boardwalk at Crane Creek. * We saw an American Redstart, which is also a small Warbler. It was a “lifer” – the first time I’d ever seen one. * We also had Yellow Warblers up close, singing wonderfully, and giving us some great looks. We saw Rose-breasted Grosbeaks. Both of these birds were “yearlist” birds – first time we had seen them this year. * There was an American Woodcock that we stared at for about 15 minutes (a bird a little larger than a Robin, but smaller than a pigeon). We weren’t the first to spot it though. There were a group of people standing in the grass just off the parking lot. They were pointing at the ground, and had binoculars aiming, and there was an excitement in the air. So we walked over to find out what it was all about. “Look, right there – it’s an American Woodcock!” So we looked, and we didn’t see anything but grass and fallen leaves. “It’s right there” Sure, but I still don’t see it. After about five minutes, we spotted it. It was only about six feet away. It was so well camouflaged and hidden among the brush that even though we were so close, it was difficult to see. We stayed and looked at it from several angles. I was able to get some good pictures to show how well it was hidden.

Thanks again for your contributions! Thanks to you, and our other sponsors, our team raised over $300.00! That’s GREAT! Last year, the many teams for the Columbus Birdathon raised over $10,000! I hope we top that this year. The money will be used to help build the new Grange Insurance Audubon Center that you’ve been reading about in the paper.

Thank you, John



Letter from Katryn R

Swans and Coots Birdathon

It was a dark and foggy morning. Charles predicted the fog could be a detriment to our escapades. “Then again”, he thought, “perhaps it would encourage the birds”. “Yes”, we all agreed, “it would indeed either help or hurt”. And so, in single-minded accord, we piled out of the cars and started our search. Unfortunately, Greenlawn Cemetery was, if you’ll pardon the pun, rather dead.

Not that we didn’t see things, we just didn’t see many and we didn’t see them well. The Rose-breasted Grosbeak could have been named the “Grey- breasted Grosbeak” through all that fog. And the Baltimore Oriole wasn’t a brilliant orange at all, he was merely a “silhouette bird” with a lovely call. But although we didn’t see him, the Chestnut-sided Warbler was still “pleased pleased pleased to meet to you” (or so we thought he said) and the Yellow Warbler’s song was still “sweet sweet sweet sweeter than sweet”.

With all the fog and the low activity we decided to head over to Greenlawn Dam. Clyde heard the Warbling Vireo and Marlene noted that he says “If you can see me , you can seize me, and you can squeeze me until I squirt”. (Perhaps this is really what the caterpillar says to the Vireo??) OK, OK what’s all this with the birds talking?? In our efforts to memorize all the different calls, we birders try to find some kind of handle to help us out. And so we make up phrases where the words have a cadence that matches that of the birds. And so, if you happen to be near a flock of birders, you’re likely to hear someone say something like “quick three beers” and everyone else will just stand there and nod their heads in agreement, not realizing at all how ridiculous they sound.

Anyway, we left the dam behind us and headed down to Slate Run Metro Park and its newly developed wetland. Wow, what a place! Lots of shallow ponds and plenty of paths that meander between them. By this time the sun was out full, we had shed our extra layers, and we were having a grand time picking up shore birds and “edge birds” (those that feed in the trees near the edge of open areas). And then we heard it – my “bonus” bird, for Mike promised me a bonus if we found it- a pheasant. But alas, only Louise heard it, so I was on the edge of my binoculars for at least ten minutes until it finally called again and all five of us heard it.

With that our count was 70 species and we headed back toward the cars. On the way, Marlene spotted a handsome Sharp-shinned Hawk being chased by, of all things, a couple of bright yellow Goldfinches. We made one last stop at an open field and heard a Grasshopper Sparrow. We had heard this last year, but never saw it, so I was excited this year to see two different ones sitting on old weed stalks and singing and singing. Little brown nondescript birds– why DO I get so excited?? I don’t know, but it sure is fun to see (or hear) 72 different species in one morning.

Thanks so much for your support for the Audubon Society. I’ll be around to collect your donation that will help protect some of these areas that are so important to the survival of these colorful little gems.