Ontario Field Ornithologists

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OFO's Winter Birding Challenge: Dec. 1, 2021 - Feb. 28, 2022

  • 01 Dec 2021
  • 28 Feb 2022
  • Ontario


  • How many different birds can you find this winter?

Registration is closed

Welcome to OFO's Winter Birding Challenge

December 1, 2021 - February 28, 2022

Join the Winter Birding Challenge to get outside and enjoy the winter, find some great birds, contribute to community science through eBird, and have a chance to win some great prizes! You do not need to be a member of OFO to participate in the challenge.

You can join anytime up to two weeks before the challenge ends, and bird anywhere in Ontario, but we encourage you to find as many birds as you can within 5 miles of your home - your Five Mile Radius (5MR) patch. (Yes, we use kilometres here in Canada, but the “Five Mile Radius” is a popular birding strategy among North American birders!). 

Birding near your home can help reduce your ecological footprint and you will find some new and fun places to bird. How many different species can you find this winter within your Five Mile Radius?

How to Register

Create your eBird Account

If you haven’t done so already, create an account with eBird Canada so you can record your bird sightings. 

Create your eBird 5MR Patch (optional)

Create your Five Mile Radius (5MR) in eBird at your personalized patch page. (Note: you must be logged into to eBird). Your 5MR patch must include 5MR in the patch name.

Find out more about Yard and Patch Lists in eBird.

Register for the Challenge with OFO

IMPORTANT: Before completing your registration with OFO, you must create your eBird account and your optional 5MR Patch. You will need your eBird screen name to complete your registration.

Once you have setup your eBird account, and your optional 5MR patch, you can complete your registration here. 

How to Participate in the Challenge

To participate, simply submit eligible eBird checklists and share your checklists with the OFO eBird account “ OFObirds” (no quotes).

Eligible checklists must be from Ontario, be at least 10 minutes in duration and complete.

While all checklists can be submitted for prizes, we encourage you to bird your local area, especially within your "five-mile radius patch" around your home, denoted in eBird by "5MR" in your patch name.

Challenge Rules

Prizes will be chosen from individuals that have submitted the following:

  • 10 eligible checklists for each bi-weekly prize

  • 5 eligible checklists for the Great Backyard Bird Count prize

  • 60 eligible checklists for the Grand Prize

  • Participants who have a “five mile radius” patch in eBird will get an extra chance to win each prize. Be sure to include “5MR” in your patch name to qualify

Prize Cutoff 

Cut-off for bi-weekly prizes will be Sundays at 6 pm — the first prizes will be drawn on December 12, 2021. Cut-off for the Grand Prize will be Monday, February 28, 2022 at 6pm.

Prizes will be announced on the Monday following the cut-off.  Individuals will be notified by email and also posted on social media and Birdnews.

COVID-19 Precautions

Please remember during the COVID-19 pandemic, all Ontario birders should be taking extra precautions and following local, provincial, and federal regulations.

Connect on Social Media

We welcome you to post your thoughts, pictures and questions on the OFO Facebook page at www.facebook.com/OntarioFieldOrnithologists. Please use the hashtag #winterbirdingchallenge or #ofowinterbirdingchallenge.

If posting on Instagram, refer to the challenge using @ofobirds as well as the hashtags above.

Questions or Comments?

Please email challenge@ofo.ca if you have any questions or comments

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