Ross Furbush is the founder of the International Collegiate Ornithological Network, a brand new organization to connect students across colleges. We asked him to tell more about this fledgling organization:
I remember getting floored when I saw my first Indigo Bunting as a graduating high school senior. There are things that are blue like that and live in our backyards!? Adult birders might say something about how I caught onto birds real young. I might have believed this true, until I was introduced to the Young Birders Network. You guys got an incredible, envious head start to the world of birds!
I am now a junior at the University of Washington in Seattle. Most of my bird friends discovered birds in classes taught on our campuses, or were forced outside by me on weekend mornings (ha!). Even starting in college is early compared to the average birder. I decided to start a bird club my first year on campus and it has since grown to over 80 students! We have all sorts of fun events and activities scattered throughout the year. When you go to college I would certainly recommend scoping out the bird scene, even if it means creating your own.
Today I am writing to you from ICON (the International Collegiate Ornithological Network) to tell you about all the birding possibilities during your college years. ICON is here as a resource for college birders to start their own club and to connect with other campuses across the world. With high hopes and goals for bird conservation and outreach, this organization aims to create a bustling community for college birders. Be careful, you might just get caught up in a world wide big day campus challenge, or partake in a collaborative effort with a nearby university, or bag a sweet internship with the help of ICON’s network. Who knows?