The Ohio Young Birders Club (OYBC) is a young naturalist’s dream come true. Started by the Black Swamp Bird Observatory (BSBO) in 2006, it has grown so much over the years and there is no end to this growth in sight.
The Black Swamp Bird Observatory hosts many young birder events. It is the heart of the entire OYBC.
One of the greatest advantages of the BSBO is it’s location. It is a perfect place to see a lot of birds, especially during migration. Birds are pretty much dripping off the trees at Magee Marsh in May which is a killer introduction to any new birder.
When you add to it the all-star staff encouraging young birder participation, you have the best environment for a future conservationist.
The Goals of the OYBC
- Create a community for young birders throughout Ohio ~ and beyond!
- Promote volunteering and contributing through service projects.
- Foster an interest in natural history and encourage young people to spend more time outside.
- Introduce young people to career opportunities in the wildlife and conservation field
- Connect young birders with adult mentors willing to share their time, knowledge, and transportation!
- HAVING FUN
The OYBC members go on field trips, bird counts, big sits and other nature-related events such as night mothing. Groups from all over sponsor and volunteer to help in many ways.
Young Birders Assist in the Release of Banded Shorebirds
The key to the growing success, though, is that young birders themselves are so involved. A youth advisory panel (YAP) was created to involve members to be a part of the planning and decisions relating to the club.
Also, chapters are starting to form throughout the state such as the Central Ohio Chapter in Columbus. This is essential to reaching birders across a large state.
The best part of the Ohio Young Birders Club is the OHIO YOUNG BIRDER CONFERENCE. A place for young birders to meet others like them, network and meet professionals in the ornithological worlds and the greatest part of all: the young birders are the speakers!
Talks on personal experiences, research projects and more straight from members themselves along with young college students who are studying birds, young birders from other states who are doing wonderful things; it is the best way to immerse a young birder into what they love and motivate them forever to be a birder. (Check out this year’s topics here)
2012 Ohio Young Birders Conference Group Photo! (photo by Tim Daniel)
We hope to see more young birder conferences in other states very soon!
There is nothing like looking at the face of a young person engrossed in nature. It is like watching a preview of the future. Hope for future conservation is in their eyes as they hold a banded bird or look at dragonflies near a pond.
It is an amazing and wonderful thing to assist in molding a life-long conservationist.