Bird Conservation Marketing - Promoting Conservation Through Birding

Illinois Young Birders Club

Illinois Young Birders Club Screenshot

Young birders in Illinois are fortunate. In March of 2010 the Illinois Young Birders Club was formed under the umbrella of the Illinois Ornithological Society.

This statewide club organizes field trips and produces a quarterly newsletter for its members. The cost to join is just $10 per year and is open to ages 9-18. Adults can support the club as well with a $20 per year contribution that goes directly into funding the club’s activities.

The Illinois Young Birders Club Mission Objectives

  1. To foster an interest in birding among young people in Illinois.
  2. To offer a centralized community for young birders in Illinois.
  3. To introduce members to possible career options related to birds & the natural sciences.
  4. To offer and maintain a website (illinoisyoungbirders.org) and a discussion group (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ILyoungbirders/) to facilitate communication among Illinois young birders and the adult birding community.
  5. To provide a quarterly newsletter.
  6. To provide the safest possible environment for scheduled field trips & other IYBC events.
  7. To further awareness of conservation issues affecting Illinois birds.
  8. To foster positive relationships with other Nature/Birding groups in Illinois.
  9. To Have Fun!!!

The IYBC goes on a lot of field trips throughout the year, mostly in the Chicago area and suburbs. There are several field trips that reach south and west, but much of the state is under-reached.

We hope that in the future there can be chapters of the Illinois Young Birder Club, much like they have in Ohio. This would enable places that already have adult bird clubs to foster support for young birders in their respective locations.

For example, in Rockford there is an active (and aging) bird club that could really assist young birders in the city and surrounding counties on getting more involved and participating on field trips.

We feel that a lot of young birders are missing out. Hopefully, as they see their peers going on field trips, having fun, and sharing knowledge about birds and nature, they will be able to convince their friends to join in as well.

The Illinois Young Birders Club is itself young and has a lot of potential to spark interest in birders not just in the Prairie State but bordering states and beyond.

It will take a lot of work and promotion, but we know that kids are inherently attracted to nature and the outdoors. With a spark here and there they are bound to find it enjoyable and let it become part of their life.

And it will also take a lot of prodding to get more parents to back their kids as well. Without adult support, the young birders club will struggle to grow.

Let’s make it easier for kids to be the naturalists they were born to be.

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