2018 Great American Arctic Birding Challenge!

Birds migrate from all 50 US states to spend their summer in Alaska's Arctic. How many of these spring migrants can you find in your state?
Stilt Sandpiper Photo: Dave Shaw

During the spring, many birds travel from all over the United States and from all six continents in order to reach the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and other ecologically rich areas of the American Arctic. Birds rely on these pristine habitats for nesting, breeding, staging, and molting. 

Birdwatchers across the United States can celebrate the importance of the Arctic by participating in our 2018 Great American Arctic Birding Challenge this spring! Recruit some fellow birders, grab a pair of binoculars, and find as many Arctic birds as you can in your state. The contest runs from March 1st through June 1st so that birders all over the country can spot birds as they migrate.

Great American Arctic Birding Challenge Checklist

Share this flyer with your Audubon chapter or birding club!


  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. Download the Great American Arctic Birding Challenge checklist. Click here to download. 
  3. 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 your checklist.
  4. Submit your checklist. Submit your completed checklist by email by midnight (Alaska time!) on June 1 or have it postmarked by June 1. (Submission details below.) 


There are two categories: Alaska and Lower 48. All sightings must be within the geographic boundaries of the categories. For the Lower 48, the states you bird in must be contiguous. We will award prizes to the two 1st place teams. Each member of the winning teams will receive a prize. 

The Prize! Audubon Alaska Bird of the Year ball cap featuring our 2018 Bird of the Year - the Pacific Golden-Plover!

‚ÄčArctic Refuge Bonus Prize! Since Audubon is celebrating the amazing Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, 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!

Please submit your entry form and final checklist via mail or email:
Mailing address
Audubon Alaska
431 West Seventh Avenue, Suite 101
Anchorage, AK 99501


For more information or if you have questions, email us at

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Photo: Dave Shaw

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