New York State
Ornithological Association

For the birders and birds of the Empire State

New York State
Young Birders Club
Posted 6/11/09  

The New York State Young Birders Club (NYSYBC) is a special project of NYSOA. This club is for birders in New York State between the ages of 10 and 19, inclusive.

Adult volunteers guide and mentor the youth members of the club, provide transportation, and handle the many administrative tasks required to make the club a success and maximize its value to young birders while giving their safety top priority at all times. Check out the NYSYBC website for the field trip schedule, writings, photos and artwork by young birders, and membership forms.

Sullivan County trip, April 2009
Lance Verderame & young birders spotting
White-winged Crossbills in Sullivan County

trip sponsored by the Sullivan County Audubon Society
photo by Mary Batcheller

Member Clubs/Organizations of NYSOA are invited to become NYSYBC Partner Clubs/Organizations, and adults who wish to support the club may join as Supporting Adult members.  

To build on the club’s early success, more members are needed in all three categories throughout the state (Youth, Supporting Adult, and Partner Club/Organization).

You can help! Flyers are available that can be posted at nature centers, libraries, schools, and other places that are be visited by young birders. NYSYBC representatives are ready to present a slide show about the club to your local organization. Please for flyers or to arrange for a speaker to visit your club. Please spread the word and send all teen birders you know to the club’s website, http://www.nysyoungbirders.org. Thank you!


History of the NYS Young Birders Club

In November 2007, Hope Batcheller approached the New York State Ornithological Association (NYSOA) at its annual meeting, seeking to form a club similar to the Ohio Young Birders Club started by Kim Kaufman of the Black Swamp Bird Observatory. Hope had already established an online discussion group for young birders in New York. NYSOA eagerly accepted the challenge to create a club for these young birders, recognizing them as future leaders of both local bird clubs and NYSOA. A special committee chaired by Carena Pooth identified the steps necessary to bring NYSYBC to life through field trips, a newsletter, and a website for young members aged 12-19, while making their safety and security the top priority at all times (the age range for youth members has since been changed to 10-19).

Jamaica Bay, August 2008
Young birders with Shai Mitra at Jamaica Bay, August 2008
photo by Mary Batcheller

In July 2008 the NYSYBC website was unveiled. The Young Birders held their first field trip in August 2008. Shai Mitra of the New York State Avian Records Committee (NYSARC) led a group of nine enthusiastic young birders and their parents on a birding exploration of Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. The highlight of the day was a White-faced Ibis seen by all. At NYSOA’s Annual Meeting in September 2008, President Bill Ostrander announced the appointment of Annette Lehner as Adult Coordinator of NYSYBC. The following month, the club began offering memberships in three categories – Youth, Supporting Adult, and Partner Organization.

In January 2009, an organizational meeting was held and officers of the Youth Leadership Council were elected:
      President:  Hope Batcheller
      Vice President:  Erich Lehner
      Secretary:  Brent Bomkamp

After several membership requests had come in from young birders who were 10 or 11, the Youth Leadership Council decided in May 2009 to lower the minimum age requirement for membership from 12 to 10.

Lunch in the Adirondacks, June 2009
Lunch at the Thirsty Moose after the walk at
Massawepie Mire,
sponsored by the
Northern New York Audubon Society
photo by Carena Pooth

The New York State Young Birders Club is now conducting monthly field trips for its young members. These trips are hosted by NYSYBC Partner Clubs/Organizations around the state, offering young birders the opportunity to go birding with their peers in places they've never explored before. Many new friendships have been formed as young birders discover that there are indeed others in their own age group in New York State who share their passion for wild birds.

To build on the club’s early success, more members are needed in all three categories throughout the state. You can help! Flyers are available that can be posted at nature centers, libraries, schools, and other places that are be visited by young birders. NYSYBC representatives are ready to present a slide show about the club to your local organization. Please for flyers or to arrange for a speaker to visit your club. If you are 20 or older, please consider joining NYSYBC as a Supporting Adult, and encourage your club to become a Partner Organization. And if you are between the ages of 10 and 19, join NYSYBC as a Youth Member and get to know other young birders like yourself! Please spread the word and send all teen birders you know to the club’s website, http://www.nysyoungbirders.org. Thank you!

Carena Pooth


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