First Annual Indiana Young Birders Conference – A Smashing Success!

The Ohio Birdfreaks were so excited to attend the very first EVER Indiana Young Birders Conference on August 24th, 2013.

Rob Ripma (from and all the SUPER people who put the conference together did an amazing job and the young birder speakers blew us away with their knowledge and passion.

Young birder photo session

There was morning bird banding and a field trip to start off the event. We arrived a little afer those early events (it was around a three hour drive) and brought along a couple extras: a new birder (Jamie) and non-birder friend (Thomas). Both stated they had a wonderful time at the event!

Registering was easy and we checked out the awesome silent raffle and big raffle items. We were amazed at the large amount of donated items to give away to the kids. (you can see the list of sponsors here)

The Ohio Crew

Did I mention that the young speakers were AMAZING? They discussed various topics such as a birding adventure in Costa Rica, birding apps, a history of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker and bird conservation. We were moved to tears when young birder Matthias stressed the importance of taking care of our birds and their habitat so we could continue to enjoy them for years to come.

Eagle Creek Ornithology Center brought in some raptors (that could not be released to the wild due to past injuries) for a birds of prey program. Then Kenn and Kim Kaufman talked about youth birding and inspired the entire room. They graciously hosted an autograph session and as always were personable and approachable – Kim Kaufman’s passion for bird conservation and young birders moves me every time and I’m SO glad they were a part of it! (call us biased because we love them SO very much – but Kim and Kenn are the MOST loving, bird conservation minded people we have ever met and are always willing to share and spread the birding knowledge and love to all!)

The keynote speaker Andy Johnson gave a spectacular talk on shorebird tracking and studies. A student at Cornell University, Andy is doing great work to help learn more about the amazing migration of shorebirds and their populations.

The AMAZING Speakers!

This first Indiana Young Birder Conference could not have turned out better. I anticipate that each year will be bigger than the last and I cannot wait for next year!

Coming up….the Ohio Young Birder Conference (November 2nd) at the Toledo Zoo! Hope to see you there!

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