Friday, August 31, 2012

New Site for Young Birders!

Friday, August 31, 2012

I have a great deal of respect for individuals who "pay it forward" at some point in their lives. By that I mean, doing something nice or supportive for someone else just because it's the right thing to do—not because there's some big payoff in it for them. You know what I mean, right? The dad who coaches a little league team long after his own kids have left for college; the teacher who runs an after-school science club on her own time, funded out of her own pocket; the teenager who mows the elderly neighbor's lawn; people who voluntarily pick up trash in parks just because it makes things better for everyone!

I also admire companies who invest in causes that they care about. One such company is Leica Sport Optics which has invested many thousands of dollars over the past couple of decades in support of programs for young birders. Leica has co-sponsored youth birding camps, conferences, young birder teams in birding competitions, optics giveaways for young birders, and special youth-oriented events at birding festivals.

Now Leica is the sponsor of a new online resource for young birders on the Bird Watcher's Digest website simply called Young Birders. The site is designed to help beginning bird enthusiasts to have a successful start in the hobby. And it gives avid young birders a place to share their experiences, adventures, images, tweets, and blog posts with others.

Three young bird watchers are sharing their regular blog posts on the Young Birders site: Corey Husic, Kristina Polk, and Kyle Carlsen. Other resources included in the site are: a directory of young birder organizations in North America, a photo gallery, a running stream of fascinating bird facts, tips for choosing optics and a field guide, and ticker-windows showing Leica's Facebook and Twitter feeds.

The Leica Young Birders site will be streaming tweets that use the hashtag #youngbirders.

I'm so thrilled to see all the resources available to young birders today. How I wish we'd had similar opportunities for connecting and learning back when I was a young birder (in the days when dinosaurs still walked the Earth).

My sincere thanks (and much admiration) to Leica Sport Optics for their years of consistent support for the growing community of young bird watchers.

That's what I call "paying it forward!"