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

October eBirder of the Month Challenge

This month’s eBirder of the Month challenge, sponsored by Carl Zeiss Sports Optics, will keep get you snapping photos and recording bird sounds. Every time you take a photo or hold out a microphone, you’re creating an incredibly powerful piece of data. Media help document records, provide resources for learning and education, and also pave the way for future eBird and birding tools like Merlin Photo ID. The eBirder of the month will be drawn from eBirders who submit 15 or more eligible checklists in September containing at least one rated photo or sound. Checklists must be for observations during this month; not historical checklists entered during September. Winners will be notified by the 10th of the following month.

Educating Young Naturalists: An Interview with Laura Guerard

This week, we interviewed Laura Guerard, the Education Director of the Black Swamp Bird Observatory and a coordinator of the Young Birders Network. We asked her about her interest in nature and her experiences with environmental education. How did you get started in birding? During college, I built an internship with Vermont Audubon into my […]

New Summer Camp Opportunity for Young Birders: Algonquin Provincial Park

Gray Jay by Sarah Dzielski

Looking for more summer camp options this summer? Ontario Field Ornithologists is launching the Alan Wormington Memorial Camp for Young Birders in Algonquin Park. The camp will take place July 8-15 at Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario. Algonquin Park has been the site of many long-term research projects on fascinating boreal species such as Gray Jays, […]

Birding Illinois: An Interview with Colin Dobson

This week, we interviewed Colin Dobson, an active 16 year-old Illinois young birder and photographer. Colin is an active member of the Illinois Young Birders club and has been featured for his passion on local news networks. We asked Colin about his experiences as a young birder, his photography, and his future goals. How long have […]

Announcing the Winner of the Macaulay Library Direct Media Challenge

Last year, the Young Birders Network challenged young birders to use eBird beyond simply reporting numbers to provide even more valuable data for citizen science. Thanks to the sponsorship of Carl Zeiss Sports Optics, one random young birder who submitted photos or audio through the Macaulay Library Direct Media Upload tool in their Young Birders Network checklists would win a pair of binoculars. We’re excited to announce the winner of the challenge today! Read on for more.

Announcing the Winner of the Breeding Code YBN Challenge!

Last year, the Young Birders Network challenged young birders to take their eBirding one step further by providing information about birds’ breeding in each of their checklists to learn more about the birds in their neighborhoods and help scientists understand this important part of birds’ annual cycle. Thanks to the generous sponsorship of Carl Zeiss Sports Optics, the winner whose checklist was randomly drawn from all eligible Young Birders Network Portal checklists with breeding codes will receive a new pair of Zeiss binoculars. Read on for more!

Tales from the Benton County Big Sit

Isaac Denzer and Kai Frueh are young birders from Oregon. Kai is currently a 14 year-old birder interested in carbon-free birding, bird photography, and observing bird behavior. He won a scholarship to and attended the 2016 Western Field Ornithologists conference. Isaac is a 13 year-old birder interested in bird photography and sketching. He attended the 2015 Western Field Ornithologists conference and is an active member of his local Audubon Society. Both Isaac and Kai actively eBird and add media to Macaulay on their birding outings.

A Conversational Recap of the 2016 Indiana Young Birders Conference

Matthias Benko was the 2016 recipient of the Indiana Young Birder of the Year award; Carlynn Berners was the receipt of the 2016 Conservation Awareness Award. Both Matthias and Carlynn are Youth Editors to the Indiana Young Birders Club (IYBC) newsletter, The Warbler. Matthias also serves as a youth advisor to the IYBC. Both presented at this year’s IYBC conference, and Carlynn also served as the host of the event throughout the day. As with all presenters this past August, they did a great job and were both very excited for a chance to talk with each other to summarize the amazing day.

Rescuing Raptors: An Interview with New Zealand Young Birder Bonnie Tranter

Bonnie is an 11 year-old young birder living in Christchurch, New Zealand. She works with rehabilitating injured raptors such as the threatened New Zealand Falcon and the native Ruru or Morepork, a type of owl. Recently, she has gotten involved with the Young Birders NZ organization, which seeks to encourage young New Zealand residents to […]

YBN Challenge Update


Now that it’s October, the seasons are shifting. In the Northern Hemisphere, the breeding season is wrapping up; in the Southern Hemisphere, it’s just getting started. Migrants are crossing borders, giving birders the chance to experience a diversity of new species, and there’s always the potential for a stunning rarity. The Young Birders Network Challenges are still ongoing, and now’s the perfect time to submit your lists through the Young Birders Network portal.