Young Birders get a Boost

  In late July, a group of enthusiastic young birders gathered at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in IthacaNew York, to participate in the Lab’s special Young Birder Event. This year, the event was sponsored by Carl Zeiss Sports Optics.

This series of events began in the summer of 2009, and it has since become an ideal way to connect and inspire promising teenage birders. Ten high-school-aged young people are chosen to participate, and for a weekend packed with activities they are exposed to a variety of creative and diverse ways to hone their birding skills. They learn from professional ornithologists as well as Cornell University graduate and undergraduate students about careers that center on birds. They try making sound and video recordings of birds, along with learning something about Neotropical birds, taxonomy, nocturnal flight calls of migrants, field sketching, taking field notes, and much more.

“These young birders will be the next generation of leaders in ornithology and conservation,” says the Cornell Lab’s Jessie Barry, one of the hosts of the event.

Already, plans are underway for the 2013 session, including a search for promising young birders in grades 9 through 12. For more on this year’s Young Birder Event at Cornell see