Birds on the Niagara Winter Birding Challenge

Welcome to the Birds on the Niagara Winter Birding Challenge brought to you by Buffalo Audubon and Outside Chronicles.  This challenge was created to get people out on the Niagara River to enjoy the amazing diversity of gulls, waterfowl, and raptors that depend on one of the most important freshwater habitats in North America. 

Our goal is to encourage people to get outside with their binoculars or camera, find some of our amazing winter birds, and share their sightings with others participating in this challenge. 

The Birds on the Niagara Winter Birding Challenge is designed to introduce birders of all skill levels to some of the most important birding hotspots along the Niagara River.  The Niagara River has been designated as a Globally Important Bird Area, and there are many birds we see here regularly that can be difficult to find almost everywhere else in North America. 

There are 13 Niagara River Hotspots, each with its own target species to search for.  The target birds are just a suggestion of what to look for at each hotspot, and represent some of the most exciting Gulls, Ducks, and Raptors you can find on the Niagara River.  Don’t worry of you cannot find the target species, some birds are more common and more predictable than others! 


  1. Visit all 13 birding hotspots between December 20, 2021 and March 20, 2022, inclusive.
  2. Take a selfie with the Niagara River (or Lake) at your back.  Make a list of some of the birds you see, and take a few pictures of birds if you can.  For an added challenge, head to and learn how to use the eBird app to record the birds you see, and attach a checklist link with your submission.
  3. Upload your pictures, sightings, and eBird checklists to the submission page.
  4. (Optional) Post your picture to Buffalo-Niagara Birding Group on Facebook.  Be sure to tag @outsidechronicles and @buffaloaudubonsociety)

    Check your completion status on the Birds on the Niagara Challenge Board.

The Vortex Diamondback HD Spotting Scope and Tripod was raffled on Facebook LIVE at the BON Festival on February 12, 2022. Congratulations to the winner. Even though the raffle is over, you can still join the BON Winter Birding Challenge and earn a great patch.

No Purchase necessary to enter to win the scope and tripod , click see Contest Rules for details.

Spotting Scope and Tripod generously donated by Don and Mary Jane Shonn.