The Audubon Society has just created a super fun online experience that brings birdwatching right to your computer screen! They’ve released a virtual flock of feathered friendsfor their new social media campaign called “Birding the Net.” Rare and exquisite birds will be “flying” around on over 100 internet sites including AOL, The Discovery Channel, and Slate for people to click on and collect. The first person to collect them all wins a trip to theGalapagos Islands! The campaign not only brings the thrill of the chase to our fingertips, but also encourages involvement and interest in protecting birds and their habitats.

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Participants can find birds flying across website screens, perched on mastheads, or even see them flocking to bird houses installed on their own websites or blogs. Clicking on the birds will direct the viewer to the Audubon facebook page where everyone can trade and collect bird cards. Other prizes include Canon cameras, Nikon binoculars, and Audubon Society memberships.

The online competition is timed to build up to the release of the feature film “The Big Year” starring Steve Martin, Jack Black, and Owen Wilson. The three characters compete to spot the most North American birds in one year. The film and the social media outreach campaign reflect a bit of a modern makeover for the organization, which is over a century old. President and CEO of Audubon, David Yarnold explains “This is not your grandmother’s Audubon.”

The campaign, like many internet phenomenons, is expected to go viral, which is a good thing as it promotes environmental awareness through fun activities. Jeff Goodby, Co-Founder and Co-Chairman of Goodby Silverstein and Partners(the ad geniuses behind it all) agrees saying, “This campaign amazingly combines bird preservation, education, and alluring animation in an addictive experience that spreads across the internet.”

Visit the “Birding the Net” Audubon facebook page to get started and be sure to check out Audubon on twitter (@AudubonSociety) for exclusive hints and tips.

+ National Audubon Society