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Great American Arctic Birding Challenge Starts March 1!

By bpeluso February 29, 2016

Tundra Swans nest in the Arctic and winter in the Eastern U.S.

Birds that nest in the Arctic migrate to all 50 states and beyond. As they head north, grab your binoculars and let the games begin! Audubon Alaska’s annual Great American Arctic Birding Challenge takes flight March 1 and runs until June 1. Gather up your team of up to 6 birders and head for your favorite birding spots. There are bonus prizes for spotting bird species that nest in the Arctic Refuge (see below).

Try to beat the Challenge’s high counts: 153 species in Alaska or 142 species in the Lower 48!

1. Recruit your team (up to six people). Find a warbler expert, your friend with the top-of-the-line scope, or someone with supersonic hearing to identify those sparrow calls…or head out with your regular birding buddies.

2. Record your birds. If at least 2 team members (on teams of 2 or more) identify a bird by sight or sound, mark it on the Great American Arctic Birding Challenge checklist.

3. Take your time and enjoy. This is a spring migration challenge–you have the entire spring to scour the countryside.

4. Submit your checklist. Submit your list online or by fax before midnight (Alaska time!) or have it postmarked by June 1, 2016.

There are two categories: Alaska and Lower 48. All sightings must be within the geographic boundaries of the categories. There will be First, Second, and Third place prizes for each category. Each member of the First, Second, and Third place teams will receive a prize.

Arctic Refuge Bonus Prize: Since Audubon is celebrating the amazing Arctic National Wildlife Refuge this year, any teams that find 10 or more species that migrate to the Arctic Refuge (marked on checklist) will receive Audubon Alaska Bird of the Year stickers.

We will announce the winning teams by June 15.

For more information visit