I've enjoyed a whirlwind spring and early summer of travel to festivals in various parts of the United States. It's always fun to see old friends, make a few new ones, and experience birding in new and wonderful places. Lots of great birds have passed across my field of view. However, my favorite part of all these spring travels has been the opportunities I've had to get out in the field with lots of young birders.
Back in May I was up at Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge in northwest Ohio for International Migratory Bird Day where I've done family bird walks for the past few years. Though the weather was "iffy" we had a nice group of bird watchers show up and we were treated to a mini-fallout of warblers along the trail as well as a great horned owl nest with fledglings in it.
|A birding mom shows her daughter the great horned owl nest along the Ottawa NWR walking trail.|
|Our family bird walk group in Acadia NP.|
|Scanning for black guillemots and common eiders in the surf.|
In mid-June my family and I were back at the Potholes & Prairie Birding Festival in Carrington, North Dakota. One of the other families attending included Abby and her mom who were from Indiana. While birding along the Sheyenne River valley, I got to show Abby a few life birds, including her first-ever common yellowthroat.
|That's me pointing Abby's eyes to the common yellowthroat.|
|We got the bird and celebrated with a high-five!|
|Birding the DRA lands in Maine, just before the Virginia rail appeared!|
Hog Island Teen Birding Camps
Young Birders' Day at the 2013 Midwest Birding Symposium
Resources & Clubs for Young Birders
There are many statewide organizations for young birders, such as The Ohio Young Birders, Iowa Young Birders, Indiana Young Birders, and Illinois Young Birders. Try searching for a group in your state via the resources link above, or via a search engine.
Finally, if you know a young person who would benefit from a starter field guide specifically designed for young birders, please consider my Young Birder's Guide to Birds of North America.
I've written and edited a lot of books, but this one is closest to my heart and my proudest professional accomplishment. The book is available for sale at most bookstores—both online and off—but if you purchase from Bird Watcher's Digest, I will personalize the book with an inscription of your choice for the recipient.
Happy birding to all!