2015 Great American Arctic Birding Challenge!

 Congratulations to the 2015 winners of the Great American Arctic Birding Challenge!

1st Place: Polar Vortex (Idaho), 131 species
2nd Place (tied): Bainbridge Bird Nerds (Washington), 128 species
2nd Place (tied): The HorWRENdous Duo (Oregon), 128 species
3rd Place: Clallam County Birders (Washington), 122 species

1st Place: Water Oozels (Seward), 130 species
2nd Place: The Crusty Blackbirds (Soldotna), 123 species
3rd Place: Bird Nerds (Seward), 102 species

All competing teams this year found 10 or more species that migrate to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, well done! It truly shows the connection the Arctic Refuge has for birders across the country.

We hope everyone enjoyed birding for the challenge and we hope you'll join us again next year!

Great American Arctic Birding Challenge Checklist

Share this flyer with your chapter or birding club!

Birds from six continents rely on America's Arctic in Alaska for nesting, breeding, staging, and molting; their ranges reach across the Lower 48 states and beyond. Birdwatchers from around the United States can test their skills in the Great American Arctic Birding Challenge this spring to find the most birds in their state from the contest checklist of Arctic birds. The contest runs from March 1 through June 1 so that birders all over the U.S. can spot birds as they migrate.

Try to beat last year's champions: 146 species in Alaska or 122 species in the Lower 48! Submit your completed checklist/registration form at the end of the contest (see deadline below).

  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 completed checklist by email or fax before midnight (Alaska time!) or have it postmarked by June 1, 2015.

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.

  • First Place: Autographed copy of the new edition of Alaska author Bob Armstrong's Guide to the Birds of Alaska, with a foreword by Audubon Alaska's Executive Director Nils Warnock.
  • Second Place: The book Arctic Wings: Birds of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, full of gorgeous photos of the birds that migrate to the Arctic to nest. Includes a CD of Arctic bird songs.
  • Third Place: Audubon Alaska ball cap and window decal featuring a Bar-tailed Godwit.
  • 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 window decals!

Please submit your entry form and final checklist via mail, email, or fax to:
Mailing address
Audubon Alaska
Attn: Beth Peluso, Great American Arctic Birding Challenge
431 West Seventh Avenue, Suite 101
Anchorage, AK 99501


(907) 276-5069 (please call or email to confirm we received your fax)

For more information or if you have questions, email Beth Peluso or call (907) 276-7034.

Copyright  2015 National Audubon Society, Inc