Welcome to the Young Birders Network

The Young Birders Network aims to provide resources for young birders to connect and learn, while giving their adult advocates resources to encourage and support. The network is coordinated by the Black Swamp Bird Observatory and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and includes dozens of partners.

News and Features

The Cornell Lab 2016 Young Birders Event

Eastern Meadowlark

Cross-posted from the eBird homepage. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is excited to host our annual Young Birders Event, which will be held July 7 – 10, 2016 in Ithaca, New York. The Young Birders Event aims to bring together teenagers (students who will be sophomores, juniors and seniors) with a passion for birds who are interested […]

Undergraduate Research in Bird-window Collisions: Drew Meyer

Drew Meyer with a (live) Golden-winged Warbler. Photo courtesy of Drew Meyer.

Drew Meyer is a sophomore at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Michigan. Drew created his own project studying bird-window collisions, presented his research for the university, and is planning to publish the results.

A State Big Year in High School: Aidan Rominger

Aidan Rominger out birding

Aidan Rominger is a 16 year-old birder from Indianapolis, Indiana. Last year, Aidan did a statewide Indiana big year. All bird photos were taken by Aidan during the year.

CBC Season is here!

Young birders on a CBC in Michigan. Photo Sarah Toner.

As fond as I am of Canadian television, that’s not what I’m referring to. As I type, radio stations are playing holiday jingles, stores have set up Christmas trees and menorahs, and it’s not even Thanksgiving yet. The holiday season gets bigger and earlier each year, it seems. However, for birders, the season is quite […]

Networking for Wildlife

Winnipeg. Photo by Emma Doden

This week’s post is written by Dana Neufeld, a sophomore at Michigan Technological University. Dana has participated in several ornithological research projects with university chapters of The Wildlife Society. In mid-October, Dana was fortunate to be able to attend The Wildlife Society Annual Conference in Winnipeg, which offered hundreds of presentations about recent studies and conservation topics relating to natural resources and ecology.

Preserving Past and Present in a Drawer: Specimen Preparation

A group of Cornell students measure Pitta specimens at the American Museum of Natural History; photo Teresa Pegan

When news of the rediscovery of a rare species, the Moustached Kingfisher, went viral, public support was initially positive. However, after a fiery op-ed in Huffington Post pointed out the fact that the individual bird was collected–killed so that scientists could study and preserve the body–and argued against the collection, the topic turned into a heated debate. Although some controversy still surrounds the question of when to collect specimens, many universities and museums have large and useful collections of bird specimens.

Young Bird Photographer of the Year Award: International Contest

Are you under 18? Do you photograph birds? If so, you qualify for the Young Bird Photographer of the Year Award, sponsored by the Cameron Bespolka Trust and the British Trust for Ornithology. This award is a part of the Bird Photographer of the Year contest, an international competition to encourage awareness of bird conservation […]

Announcing the Young Birders Club of Wisconsin!


Adding to the ever-growing list of Young Birders Clubs across the country is the new Young Birders Club of Wisconsin. Started by Ryan Treves and sponsored by the Madison Audubon Society and the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology, this club aims to connect young birders grades 5-12 at meetings, field trips, and activities across the state.

Fostering a Love of Nature: White Pine Middle School Birding Club

Photo credit Daryl Bernard

Daryl Bernard is a long-time birder and a science teacher at White Pine Middle School in Saginaw, Michigan. He recently started a birding club at the school to encourage his students to pay attention to the world outside, and I checked in with him to find out more about what the club has been doing.

A Field Guide to Writing College Essays

For both birders and non-birders who are seniors in high school, it’s college essay writing season–often a time of confusion, stress, and frustration. However, I’d argue that birders have it easy when it comes to writing college essays. Admissions officers want to see an applicant’s personality and dedication–and what better way to show your abilities […]