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

YBN Macaulay Challenge: The Power of a Smartphone

A Southern Giant-petrel, taken with an iPhone through binoculars--from a boat!

The idea of submitting materials to the Macaulay Library can be intimidating to many birders. “None of my photos are professional grade.” “What information do I need to record?” “How do I record audio?” Getting good photos of small, constantly moving birds can be a challenge, but the good news is that every piece of data is worth something, and it is relatively easy to get informative and good-quality samples with very little tools or effort.

Announcing the Young Birders Network 2016 Challenges!

Le Conte's Sparrow photo by Nathan Martineau

From now until the end of the year, the Young Birders Network will be hosting two eBird challenges, sponsored by Carl Zeiss Sports Optics. Each challenge winner will get a pair of Zeiss Terra binoculars! All you have to do is submit eBird checklists through the Young Birders Network portal, and you could have a new pair of binoculars! Read on to learn more.

Working with Wildlife: Interview with Anna Buckardt

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This week’s post is an interview with Anna Buckhardt. Anna is pursuing a Master’s Degree at the University of Maine, where she is studying woodcocks. She attended the first Cornell Young Birder’s Event in 2009 and graduated from Michigan Technological University with a degree in Wildlife Ecology and Management. Since then, she has worked in a variety of bird-related field jobs, turning her passion into her career.

Better Birding: Using eBird to Plan Trips

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     The eBird database is an unprecedented resource for scientists, and it contains a wealth of information for birders of all skill levels as well. Certainly, one of the most frustrating experiences is birding a location only to find out that there was a good bird there that you didn’t know about and missed. […]

Applying for Summer Jobs: Writing a Cover Letter

Photo by Natasha Bartolotta

It’s peak season for finding summer bird jobs. Many deadlines are coming up quickly. Most summer jobs ask for a cover letter, a resume, and references. With that in mind, here are a few tips for writing a cover letter that conveys your enthusiasm and experience.

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.