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Compete in the Nebraska Birding Bowl


A group of camp participants learn how to bird.

Photo by Jeff Kurrus

By Olivia DaRugna, Watchable Wildlife Biologist

We are kicking off Nebraska Bird Month (May) with a new event: The Nebraska Birding Bowl!

This free event is open to anyone who enjoys observing birds in Nebraska. Whether you just started birding, are an avid backyard birder or a competitive lister, you can participate in the Nebraska Birding Bowl and win prizes. That’s right — win prizes just for observing birds!

Enter in one of several categories:

  • Fledgling Flock is for youth groups, such as after school programs, summer camps and scouting troops that want to introduce kids to the amazing world of birds.
  • Dabbling Birder includes those trying out birding for the first time or those who enjoy a more casual, laid-back birding experience.
  • Backyard Birders is for households that enjoy observing birds that come to their yard.
  • Competitive Birder is perfect for those who like to explore different habitats and observe lots of species.

Participating in the Nebraska Birding Bowl is easy!

Choose a category that fits your interest and lifestyle, and then gather friends and family to join your team or go solo. Read the rules, register your team, and submit the birds you observe through eBird, a community science platform that uses your observations to inform bird conservation.

New to eBird? Don’t worry! We have an easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide on the Nebraska Birding Bowl website and a recorded webinar that walks you through how to use eBird for this incredible event.

Participants observe birds at a local park in Omaha. Photo by Eric Fowler.

Why participate?

There are birds all around us and during Nebraska Bird Month, there are endless opportunities for observing different species of birds in your backyard and all across the state. By participating in the Nebraska Birding Bowl, you not only get to enjoy birds and the chance to win prizes, but also, the observations that you submit to eBird will contribute to research and the conservation of birds.

You can also contribute to wildlife conservation right here in Nebraska by donating to the Nebraska Wildlife Conservation Fund. Online donations of $25 or more will receive a limited edition Nebraska Birding Bowl T-shirt.

What prizes can you win?

No matter your skill level, you have a chance to win some great prizes!

  • Fledgling Flock: A few randomly selected teams will win a birding group kit.
  • Backyard Birder: A randomly selected team will win a birdfeeder setup complete with a durable birdfeeder, pole and birdseeds.
  • Dabbling Birder: A randomly selected participant will win a pair of Vortex Diamondback binoculars.
  • Competitive Birder: Teams that observe over 150 bird species and completes the requirements are entered into a drawing for the $1,000 team prize. Teams that observe 100 – 150 bird species are entered into a drawing for the $500 team prize. Teams that observe 50 – 99 bird species are is entered into a drawing for a variety of bird field guides.
A group of bird watchers. Photo by Julie Geiser.

Winning teams will be announced in June!

Visit the Nebraska Birding Bowl website https://birdtrail.outdoornebraska.gov/birdingbowl/ to see more details and to register! This event is sponsored by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, Audubon Great Plains and the Wild Bird Habitat Store.