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Birders Gear Up for Michigan Competition

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Birders Gear Up for Michigan Competition

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Birders Gear Up for Michigan Competition

Birders Gear Up for Michigan Competition

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The Hairy, Two Downies and a Red-Head team takes a pause from birding: Katie Kahl (from left), Nate Fuller, Jody Simoes and Erin Fuller. Nate Fuller hide caption

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Nate Fuller

This weekend, the 19th annual Southwest Michigan Team Birdathon will take place in Michigan's Berrien County. It is the height of spring migration in the county, which sits directly across Lake Michigan from Chicago.

Birdathons are a bit like walkathons — but instead of racking up miles for charity, donation pledges are based on the number of birds a team sees or hears.

Teams criss-cross the area, checking off as many species as possible on their official lists in the 19-hour competition. In Berrien County, a major corridor for migrating birds, there are hundreds of different kinds of birds to track.

This story, which follows two teams who competed in the birdathon last year, is an excerpt from a longer piece. To hear the full version, visit Long Haul Productions.