Young Birders Alert!

Posted by Charlotte Wasylik, aka Prairie Birder:

Spring is on the way, with summer not too far behind, so if you’re a young birder, it’s time to get out your calendar and start thinking about the great programs that are available.

The Young Ornithologists Workshop is a fantastic 10-day program for young Canadian birders ages 13-17 at the Long Point Bird Observatory (LPBO) in Ontario, on Lake Erie.

Here is some more information about the workshop from the website: “Participants learn how to identify, age and sex birds, and to study their populations and behaviour. Careful and skilled instructors teach the secrets of bird handling and banding techniques, how to prepare specimens for scientific study, and an array of bird censusing techniques. Regular afternoon field trips are taken to places of biological interest within the internationally designated Long Point Biosphere Reserve. Evenings too are busy with slide presentations and nocturnal field work.” Doesn’t that sound wonderful?

The full name of the program is the Doug Tarry Bird Young Ornithologists’ Workshop, named for Mr. Tarry who was a humanitarian and naturalist. The workshop/natural history camp at the Long Point Bird Observatory was started in the 1970s and its goal is, as the BSC website writes, to “foster the development of ornithological interests in Canadian teenagers”.

I attended YOW in 2012 and had a terrific time. It’s an opportunity to learn a great deal, and also to meet other like-minded kids. I highly recommend the program and encourage young birders to apply. The application deadline is Wednesday, April 30th.

You can read all of my posts about the Young Ornithologist Workshop here on my blog

A Black-throated Green Warbler at Long Point in 2013

A Black-throated Green Warbler at Long Point in 2013

A Black-throated Green Warbler at Long Point in 2012

A Black-throated Green Warbler at Long Point in 2012

A Baltimore Oriole at Long Point in 2012

A Baltimore Oriole at Long Point in 2012

A Carolina Wren at Long Point in 2012

A Carolina Wren at Long Point in 2012

Banding at Long point 2012

Banding at Long point 2012

The Young Birder of the Year contest is a program run by the American Birding Association, and despite the ABA’s name, the contest is in fact open to Canadian as well as American young birders.

I participated last year and enjoyed it, though I’m not sure I’ll be doing it again this year as I have a full-time summer job from June to August. I very much enjoyed the field notebook module, and my sketches improved a lot with all the entries I made.

The contest runs from April 15 through October 1, 2014 and there are a number of modules you can enter in — the two major modules are the field notebook and conservation/community leadership, and the supporting modules are photography, writing, and illustration.

The ABA recently announced the winners of the contest — you can see the results here

A few of my sketches from my notebook I entered into the contest,

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About Charlotte Wasylik

Charlotte Wasylik is a young birder who lives on a farm in northeastern Alberta. She was delighted to be selected for a monthlong Young Ornithologists’ Internship at the Long Point Bird Observatory in Ontario in August-September, to help with fall migration monitoring. Charlotte’s blog is Prairie Birder, and you can also find her at the Facebook group she started last year, Alberta Birds, which welcomes all birders, bird lovers, and nature photographers.
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2 Responses to Young Birders Alert!

  1. Sharon says:

    I didn’t know about this program. Looks wonderful! Also excellent photos!!

  2. Pingback: New Bird Canada Blog Post | Prairie Birder