Join the 100 Bird Challenge!

Join the 100 bird challenge! Starting in April 2023, we are encouraging everyone to observe 100 types of birds in honor of our 100th birthday. Pick up a tracking sheet from near the service desk and check off a box every time you observe a new type of bird. When you finish the sheet, bring it back to earn a prize!

Who can participate?

Everyone! People of every age - kids, teens, and adults - are all welcome to participate!

How long do I have to observe 100 birds?

Unlike our 100 Book Challenge, the 100 Bird Challenge is a timed challenge. Complete your tracking sheet by April 15, 2024 to receive your commemorative prize! And, even if you don't quite reach 100 birds by April 15, we still encourage you to turn in your sheet, as you can receive a commemorative prize for the number of birds you did observe!

What counts as a type of bird?

For this challenge, "type" can mean any bird with a distinct visual presentation. This means that male/female birds of a dimorphic species (like mallard ducks, cardinals, or red-winged blackbirds) can count as separate "types". You can also count juvenile presentations, morphs, etc. And, you can even count birdsong if you're very certain of the bird you're hearing.

Does the library have resources to help me observe all these birds?

We have tons of birding resources available to help you get to 100 observations!

  • We have a beautiful birding sanctuary behind the library that gets a huge variety of birds! Sit and birdwatch through our big bay windows for a while, and use the reference bird guides available on the coffee tables to look up the birds you see! Our STEAM Education Specialist has personally seen 22+ different species of birds on library property so far, and counting! The bird sanctuary was generously made possible by our friends at Wild Birds Unlimited in East Lansing.
  • We have birding kits available for check-out! Each kit comes in a backpack, and includes an Audubon bird call, a pair of binoculars, and a sampling of bird field guides for kids and adults. The contents of these kits were also generously provided by Wild Birds Unlimited in East Lansing.
  • You can join our ELPL birding club! This group is for amateurs, experts, and everyone in between! It's a chance to meet other enthusiasts, share stories and goals for the birding season, learn about available resources, and practice identification strategies. We'll also have birding outings throughout the summer, where we meet at local parks and nature areas to go for short hikes and observe birds together. The ELPL Birding Club is a casual program with no registration required, free of cost and open to the public. Drop in when you can!
  • Explore our collection! We have tons of great non-fiction books to learn more about birds, as well as some fun fiction to inspire your birding adventures. Check out this staff curated list to get you started with your reading here.

Will there be a prize for completion?

Oh yeah! Kids and adults alike can look forward to commemorative prizes at the end! Plus, you get the bragging rights of saying you've observed 100 types of birds, which is pretty cool in our opinion.

Can I really observe 100 birds? That's a lot of birds.

It sure is, but we believe in you! According to the Michigan Bird Records Committee (MBRC), there have been at least 450 species of birds documented in Michigan as of January 2022. Get out there and see as many as you can! Good luck, stay persistent, and happy birding!