Winter Birding Challenge

Welcome to the 2024 Winter Birding Challenge brought to you by Buffalo Audubon and Outside Chronicles.  Winter is a special season in Western New York, and one of the best times of the year to go bird watching. Iconic birds like Snowy Owls, Bald Eagles, and Tundra Swans grab everyone’s attention. Flocks of ducks numbering in the tens of thousands make their winter home between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. Different species of Gulls fly up and down the Niagara River every day in search of food.

This Winter Birding Challenge provides participants with 30 tasks to complete. These tasks range in difficulty; some will be completed in a day, and some will take all winter. In order to complete the Winter Birding Challenge, each participant will need to complete 20 of these tasks, with special recognition to those who are able to complete all 30. Each task must be completed in Western New York and the Niagara Region of Ontario. Participants will receive a PDF packet that will provide them with all the information they need to complete these tasks.

All proceeds from the Winter Birding Challenge go to Buffalo Audubon to enhance their education offerings and facilities.


    1. Complete 20 of 30 birding tasks between December 1, 2023 and March 21, 2024, inclusive.
    2. Complete the task by following the task instructions.
    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 Birding Challenge Board.

For Independent Health, please use your Health Extras card like a credit card at checkout.

For Highmark WNY, you will need to use your personal credit/debit card and submit a Wellness Card Reimbursement Claim Form.

Each person who participates in the 2024 Winter Birding Challenge tasks will be entered to win a Vortex Optics prize package (Valued at $300) that features a pair of Vortex Diamondback HD 8×42. Each task completed after 20 will give you an additional entry into the drawing for the top prize! Everyone who completes 20 Tasks will receive a 2024 Winter Birding Challenge patch.

No purchase necessary to enter, please see contest rules for more information.

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