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Bird Challenge Announced by State DEC

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The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced the start of the 2024 I BIRD NY challenge earlier this week for birders of all ages and abilities. The DEC says the challenge gives an opportunity to identify birds and learn more about birdlife. The challenge also awards those who finish with a commemorative I BIRD NY Challenge patch.


“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 for residents and visitors year-round,” DEC Commissioner Seggos said.

The state offers 350 birding trail locations with more locations being added. In a release, the DEC says birdwatching is considered one of the fastest growing outdoor recreational activities in the country.

“Backyard birding, or watching birds close to home, is the most common way people engage in birding. As a birder’s skill and interest develop, there are several opportunities to contribute to scientific knowledge about birds and the natural world. Programs like eBird, New York’s Breeding Bird Atlas, Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s NestWatch, and the Great Backyard Bird Count rely on volunteer birders to contribute sightings to a centralized database.” The DEC said in a release.

The program, I BIRD NY, was launched back in 2017 to increase access to the state’s vast natural resources and promote opportunities for residents to connect with nature.

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