With 450 different bird species and 59 bird conservation areas, New York is the perfect place to bird watch! The Department of Environmental Conservation agrees. Commissioner Basil Seggos has recently announced two new birding challenges: one for the kids, and one for the experts!
The Benefits of Birding
According to the DEC, it’s a good year for the promotion of bird species protection. In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, 2018 has even been named the Year of the Bird by the National Audubon Society, National Geographic, Birdlife International, and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
The two new birding challenges, announced through the DEC’s I BIRD NY program, reflect a push toward environmental appreciation in New York State. Ana Paula Tavares, Executive Director of Audubon New York, said in a statement: “We look forward to working with the DEC to provide opportunities for New Yorkers to engage in these challenges and to enjoy birding through our statewide network of nature centers, sanctuaries, and local Audubon chapter programs.”
The Beginners Birding Challenge
For bird watchers 16 years old and younger, the I BIRD NY Beginners Birding Challenge is a fun way to get outdoors and learn! 10 common species must be found to complete the challenge. All participants in the challenge will receive a certificate of completion, an official bracelet, and will be entered to win birding accessories like binoculars and spotting scopes.
The Experienced Birder Challenge
Find 10 of the 50 bird species listed in this challenge to win! All participants will receive a certificate, bracelet, and be entered into a drawing for a spotting scope.
“Birding can be enjoyed by New Yorkers of any age and ability, no matter where they live,” said Seggos in a statement. “I BIRD NY is making it easier than ever to get outside and enjoy bird watching. I encourage residents and visitors alike to take a trip and experience some of New York’s prime bird watching areas. For competitive birders out there, I encourage you to participate in this year’s Birder Challenge.”
To learn more about the birding challenges, visit the I BIRD NY page at dec.ny.gov/animals/109900.html. To compete in either challenge, be sure to enter by September 30!