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. Though the network is primarily geared for ages 12-18, younger birders and college students alike may also find relevant resources. The network is coordinated by the Black Swamp Bird Observatory and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and includes dozens of partners.
This website includes extensive information on what’s happening with young birders around the world. Within one site, you can learn more about opportunities for young birders, discover blogs of student birders across the world, and find birding clubs in your area. If you find that there isn’t a young birders club near you, the Black Swamp Bird Observatory has created a toolkit with excellent guidance for how to start one. Finally, the YBN strives to provide resources about colleges, careers, and scientific research, to facilitate the transition from casual birding to potential future occupations.
Furthermore, the partnership with eBird enables you to track your sightings and keep up with events all in one place. All the observations from eBird appear here, and all your records appear in eBird — after all, young birders are some of the very best eBirders out there. Thus, the “regular” eBird site and this website are fully integrated in terms of data submitted.
The news and features on the home page are written by a combination of middle school and high school students and a team of Cornell students. This provides a great way for middle and high school students to interact with college students and ask questions about what college is like. The Black Swamp Bird Observatory, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and Team eBird also contribute articles of interest, but over 90% of the features are written by students.
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