Bird Quest

Tug Hill Bird Quest

An Outdoor Classroom Right in Your Backyard

Have you been watching birds?

The Tug Hill Bird Quest is a fun way for anyone to learn more about the birds that visit our neighborhoods and backyards. It also provides a yearly record of the types and number of birds that are present at bird feeders each May in the Tug Hill region. This event is designed for K-8 classrooms, home schoolers, youth groups, and families that live in the Tug Hill Region.

In 2020, with so many learning and working from home, we opened participation up from our original audience — classroom and homeschool students — to include youth groups, families and others all over Tug Hill with an interest in watching birds at their home feeders. And we are so happy we did - the response has been overwhelming and inspiring!

We’d like to keep the momentum going and encourage more of you to join each year!

Bird Quest is a fun way for anyone to learn more about birds that visit their own backyards. This initiative is designed for K-8 classrooms, home schoolers, scout groups, and families that live in the Tug Hill Region.


Here's How It Works

  • Participants record the bird species, and how many of each are seen at a bird feeder during the designated week of observation, usually the third week of May.
  • Bird seed and feeders are provided free of charge (as available) to each classroom, home school, or group. THTLT provides a tally sheet for you to complete and return, as well as a host of helpful resources.
  • A complimentary copy of the Tug Hill Guide to the Natural Side naturalist book.
  • To give birds time to notice and start using new or repurposed feeders, we recommend hanging feeders and consistently stocking them with food no later than 2 weeks prior to the official observation week.
  •  Download the Backyard Activities PDF for lots of lessons and activity ideas related to bird watching!

Outdoor Classroom

Taking a break from focusing on being inside, and turning your attention outside to bird watching gives you a fun opportunity to engage with nature. It shows you something beyond yourself, and can help inspire a lifelong love of learning and observing wildlife.

At the end of the official observation week, participants send us their tally sheets and we compile their findings. The Bird Quest connects kids with nature and is easy to incorporate into any classroom or home setting!


Here's How To Participate..

Register your team here:

Bird Quest Registration


Bird Quest: How to Watch & Count Instructions (PDF) »

Bird Quest: Tally Sheet (PDF) »

Have questions or are interested in participating:

Please give Lin Gibbs, our Community Programs Director a call at 315-779-2239 or email her at

Learn More... Download these activities and visit these online sites...

Want to watch birds live on camera?

The bird feeding station at Cornell University’s Sapsucker Woods facility near Ithaca, NY is live with sound!

Go see who's there now:

woodpecker feeding three babies

Looking for a specific bird?

Learn out more about the birds you see using the North American Bird Guide online at:

Special thanks to these local businesses who have generously provided bird feeders and seed for the Bird Quest: