What is the Youth Birding Competition (YBC)?
The YBC is a 24-hour competitive bird count where students compete against other teams to find as many birds as they can in a day in Georgia. The 2014 event is on April 25 and 26, starting at 5 p.m. and ending at 5 p.m. Teams can start wherever they like and bird wherever they want, but they must arrive at the finish line (Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center) and turn in their lists by 5 p.m. While the lists are being tallied, there will be a live Wildlife program followed by a banquet and awards ceremony.
What is a birding mentor?
A birding mentor could be a teacher, a parent or an interested birder who knows the birds well enough to help a team of students learn to identify birds. When mentors meet with their teams, a teacher or parent must be present.
What does a mentor have to do?
Mentors must commit to meeting with their teams at least three times before the event. Mentors will also have access to:
- Checklists and other information about the birding competition.
- Strategy and fundraising tips, and birder resource guides.
- Bird slides (on CD) of 65 common species.
- PowerPoint program on bird identification.
- Other select bird education materials.
It is not necessary for the mentors to join the team on the day of the event, though they are welcome to. On the day of the competition the students cannot get any help finding or identifying birds from their chaperone/mentor.
What do mentors get?
Mentors will receive a free Youth Birding Competition T-shirt (bound to become a collector’s item) and free admission to the awards banquet at Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center on April 26. The mentor who commits the most time and energy to their team will win a fantastic prize!
If these material things don’t interest you, rest in the satisfaction that you are helping pass on your love of birds to the next generation.
The Youth Birding Competiton is primarily funded by The Environmental Resources Network Inc. (T.E.R.N.), friends group of the Wildlife Resources Division's Nongame Conservation Section. For more information on T.E.R.N. and how to become a member, call (478) 994-1438 or check online at http://tern.homestead.com .
Donations were also provided by Eagle Optics (www.eagleoptics.com ), Atlanta Audubon Society (www.atlantaaudubon.org ) and Georgia Ornithological Society (www.gos.org ), Weyerhaeuser (www.weyerhaeuser.com ).
For more information on Georgia's Youth Birding Competition, contact us at (912) 262-3191.