18 December 2012

Fledgling Birders

Nature or nurture? When it comes to our connection to nature, nurture helps.

I've probably always had an interest in birds. My family has recordings of my dad reading field guides to me when I was about four.

Still, bird-watching is something I've only recently taken up. In fact, I didn't really start to figure out just how much someone could do with bird-watching until a few years ago. Before then, I simply had not been made aware of that world. As I grew up, my family gave me plenty of chances to connect with nature. However, beyond our bird books, we didn't have a lot of access to bird-watching information.

That's why I think the latest offering from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology is such a great thing. As explained in a blog post on Round Robin, the lab is working with the Black Swamp Bird Observatory to connect aspiring bird-watchers through the Young Birders Network.

The network gives students in high school a chance to start or join bird-watching clubs, share bird sightings, and learn about college and career opportunities related to birds. This is the kind of thing that gives wings to childhood interests.

For more information, visit the Young Birder Network on eBird.

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