Welcome to the Buffalo Audubon Society Nature Challenge brought to you by the Buffalo Audubon Society and Outside Chronicles. The Nature Challenge was created to help people explore and learn about the natural world. By observing and identifying various species, you will gain an understanding about how rich WNY’s ecosystem truly is. The Nature Challenge will supply you with the tools and knowledge to identify tree, wildflowers, insects, reptiles and amphibians, birds, and mammals. The Nature Challenge packet will guide you on your quest to complete each challenge and become an honorary Buffalo Audubon Society Naturalist.
The challenge consists of six categories. Complete one category and earn a patch. Complete all six categories and earn a second patch as an honorary Buffalo Audubon Society Naturalist.
To complete the Nature Challenge and earn a patch you must complete one (1) out of the six (6) categories below:
- Find 15 species of trees
- Find 10 wildflowers native to Western New York
- Find one example of the eight major types of insects
- Find one of each six cold-blooded critters
- Find 15 different bird species
- Find signs of six different mammals
To become an honorary Buffalo Audubon Society Naturalist and earn a second patch, you must complete ALL six (6) of the categories.
- Observe one of the above Nature Challenge category species.
- Take a picture of your observation.
- Use our Nature Challenge PDF, a field guide, or iNaturalist to identify your observation.
- Upload your picture to the submission page.
- (Optional) Post your picture to iNaturalist. If you have an iNaturalist username, send it to us and we will add you to the Nature Challenge project.
- (Optional) Post your pictures to Facebook and Instagram. Tag @BuffaloAudubonSociety and use the hashtags #BuffaloAudubon and #BuffaloAudubonNatureChallenge.
Complete the registration form and submit your registration fee*.
Creating an iNaturalist account is optional. If you create one, we will add you to the Nature Challenge project. Other challengers will be able to see and interact with your observations. And if you find something unique and unusual, we will recognize you on our social media.
*The registration fee is used to cover the cost of Nature Challenge prizes (patches and stickers) and expenses. All proceeds will be used to enhance programs at the Buffalo Audubon Society.
2. Download Challenge Packet
After your registration and payment have been verified, you will be e-mailed a link to the BAS Nature Challenge packet. The packet contains information about the challenge, safety guidelines, borrowing equipment, and how to find the various species in each category.
3. Start observing!
Use the information in the Challenge packet to start finding and identifying species in each category. Remember if you get stuck identifying a species, iNaturalist is a great way to use technology to help. If you have an iNaturalist account, make sure you let us know so we can add you to the Nature Challenge project.
4. Upload Your Photos
To complete your Nature Challenge requirements, you will need to upload your observation to https://outsidechronicles.com/nature.
We love to see your photos and observations! Tag @BuffaloAudubonSociety on Facebook and Instagram and use the hashtags #BuffaloAudubon and #BuffaloAudubonNatureChallenge. You might even see your pictures and stories featured on our channels!
5. Follow Everyone’s Progress on the Challenge Board
Follow the Buffalo Audubon Society Facebook Page for weekly updates.
Check the the Live Challenge Board regularly.
Stay safe, keep your eyes open, and get outside and explore nature!
Are there any family discounts?
Yes, the family rate is $65 and entitles the family to up to 6 patches upon completion of the Challenge. Just select Family at registration. Families will only need to upload one group picture. Your family can include one or two pets with the total number of patches earned not to exceed 6.
Do I need to register by March 21?
No, you can register anytime between Memorial Day (5/31/2021) and Labor Day (9/6/2021). You just need to complete a category or all categories by September 6, 2021, inclusive.