‘I BIRD NY’ welcomes birdwatchers | Lifestyles

ALBANY — The 2022 “I BIRD NY” challenges are underway for beginning and experienced birders.

Two levels of challenges provide the opportunity to identify birds and learn about birdlife and offer a chance to win birding equipment. With the launch of many New York State Birding Trail segments this year, the DEC will be increasing the chances of winning if participants find birds on a New York State Birding trail site.

“No matter where you live, birdwatching is a fun, easy, affordable activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages, abilities, identities, and backgrounds,” said Commissioner Basil Seggos of the state Department of Environmental Conservation in a news release. “This summer is a great time to start birding or take your birding skills to the next level by observing birds in the diverse variety of habitats and locations the New York State Birding Trail offers.”

New York state’s wide-ranging habitat types, from the Atlantic Ocean’s sandy beaches to majestic Catskill and Adirondack peaks, Great Lakes shorelines, and everything in between create a birder’s paradise that supports more than 450 different bird species throughout the year, state official said.

New York offers a wide variety of options in Birding Trail locations with ongoing new sites being added, making it even easier for New Yorkers to get started with this fun activity.

The annual I BIRD NY Beginner’s Birding Challenge is open to anyone 16 years of age and younger. To complete the Beginner’s Birding Challenge, participants must identify 10 common New York bird species and submit their challenge sheet to DEC.

In addition to the Beginner’s Birding Challenge, DEC is offering the I Bird NY experienced birder challenge. To complete, birders of any age must identify at least 10 different bird species found across New York state.

Entries can be submitted online or be mailed or emailed and must be received by Oct. 14. Both entry forms are also available in Spanish.

All participants in both challenges will be able to print a certificate of participation and enter a random drawing for a chance to win birding accessories, including binoculars and a grand prize spotting scope. All participants will also receive an extra entry for identifying half of the birds (on NYS Birding Trail sites. As a bonus, the first 50 participants from either challenge will receive a special goodie bag of birding swag items.

Check the state Department of Environmental Conservation website for more information.

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