BUFFALO, N.Y. — Humans might be sick of the winter season, but it's actually one of the best times of the year to go bird watching. If you're looking for something to do this winter, check out the Buffalo Audubon Society's 2023 Winter Birding Challenge.
It's a series of 30 tasks to get you out and bird watching in the winter. If you complete 20 of the tasks, Tom Kerr, a naturalist for the society, says you get a commemorative 2023 winter birding challenge patch and an entry to win a pair of Vortex binoculars. The challenge will go on until March 21 and Kerr says you can go as fast as you want. He says it's important for people to get outside in the winter and connect with the outdoors.
“It's also important for people to be aware of the wildlife around us and Western New York and the Great Lakes and Niagara River, are a really important area for birds,” Kerr said. “We have so many birds that migrate to the Great Lakes. People think of birds migrating south, but a lot of times they're just trying to find open water for ducks and gulls and as winter goes on the Great Lakes freeze, they all kind of get pushed to the Niagara River because it doesn't freeze, so it's just a really important spot for wildlife and birds.”
Kerr says if you want to join the challenge you can go to buffaloaudubon.org or outsidechronicles.com. There are also programs offered every weekend to help focus on the birding challenge tasks. Kerr says those who sign up for the challenge before Saturday will be entered to win a binocular harness from Vortex, a lens cloth and a Buffalo Audubon patch.