2018 has been named the Year of the Bird by the National Audubon Society, National Geographic, BirdLife International, and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Photo via U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The state Department of Environmental Conservation has announced the launch of two birding challenges for 2018.

The I BIRD NY Beginners Birding Challenge  is open to anyone 16 years of age and younger. To complete the challenge, participants must find 10 common New York bird species. All participants will receive a completion certificate, an official I BIRD NY bracelet, and be entered to win birding accessories, including binoculars and spotting scopes.

The I BIRD NY Experienced Birder Challenge is geared towards adults. To complete the challenge, birders must find at least 10 of 50 listed bird species found across New York State. All participants in this challenge will receive a special certificate, bracelet, and be entered into a drawing for a spotting scope.

All entries for the two challenges must be received by September 30, 2018.‎

I BIRD NY encourages New Yorkers to engage in birding all year long. From Montauk to Buffalo, New York is home to a wide array of habitats that support more than 450 different bird species. There are also 59 Bird Conservation Areas across the state.

Source: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation