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This story is for the birds and those who love them

NYS Department of Environmental Conservation announces 2020 'I Bird NY' Challenges

If you've been cooped up all these weeks and are looking for something free and fun for you or the family to do now that quarantine restrictions are easing up, the NYS Department of Environmental Conversation (DEC) has an idea.

Commissioner Basil Seggos has announced the start of the 2020 'I Bird NY' Challenge. The program was started in 2017 to increase access to the state's vast natural resources and to promote low-cost opportunities to connect with nature and explore the great outdoors.

"No matter where you live, birding can be enjoyed by New Yorkers of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds," DEC Commissioner Seggos said. "With the arrival of spring migratory birds and warmer weather, June is the perfect time of year to enjoy birdwatching close to home. I BIRD NY is just one of DEC’s ongoing efforts to engage New Yorkers who may not have spent time enjoying nature in the past, but who realize the excitement of getting outdoors and experiencing the abundant wildlife around us. During the COVID-19 public health crisis, getting outside for a nature break is more important than ever and DEC will continue to encourage new and experienced naturalists alike to participate safely and responsibly in birding and other outdoors activities.”

New York is home to more than 450 different bird species throughout the year and there are 59 designated bird conservation areas to explore. 

The challenge is open to both experienced and beginning birders. To complete the challenge, you must identify at least 10 different bird species found across New York State. All participants will also receive a certificate of participation and be entered into a drawing for birding accessories.

Sound interesting? More information can be found here.