Winter Birding Challenge

Welcome to OFO's Winter Birding Challenge

The Winter Birding Challenge runs from December 1st to February 28th. 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! 

The Winter Birding Challenge will focus on birding within 5 miles of your home - your 5MR eBird patch. How many different species can you find this winter within your radius? Birding near your home can help reduce your ecological footprint and you will find some new and fun places to bird.

Instructions for Participating in OFO Winter Birding Challenge

Prizes will be chosen from registered 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

  • Participants who join OFO during the challenge will be entered into a draw for a special New Member's Prize to be awarded at the conclusion of the challenge

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. Why? This will reduce your environmental impact and - guaranteed - you will discover great places to see birds close to home.

Don't Forget to Share your Checklists with OFObirds!

To be counted, each checklist must be shared with the OFO eBird account "OFObirds" (no quotes).

For information on how to share checklists, please go to eBird Support

Prize Cutoff

Cut-off for bi-weekly prizes will be the Sunday at 6 pm --- the first prizes will be drawn on December 13, 2020. Cut-off for the Grand Prize will be Sunday February 28, 2021 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. Please use the hashtag #winterbirdingchallenge or #ofowinterbirdingchallenge

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

If you want to know more about 5MR birding, there's an Ontario 5MR Facebook group.


To register, click here or select the Register link on them menu at the top of the page.

Questions or Comments?

Please email if you have any questions or comments

Barred Owl Barred Owl Mike Burrell

Black-backed Woodpecker Black-backed Woodpecker Mike Burrell

Canada Jay Canada Jay Mike Burrell

Eastern Meadowlark Eastern Meadowlark Mike Burrell