Welcome to the first of what we plan to make a regular Friday posting of upcoming opportunities for young birders! This week’s post is for those of you who are thinking of attending a young birder camp in 2012. We’ve compiled information about some of the different opportunities you might want to consider, so read on to find out more! And if you know of other opportunities, please let us know in the comments section so we can add the information.

ABA’s Camp Colorado
Contact: Jennie Duberstein
Dates: July 8-13, 2012
Cost: $897
Ages: 13-18
Location: Based out of Estes Park, Colorado, but traveling to different parts of the region.
Leaders: Bill Schmoker, Jennie Duberstein, Bill Stewart, Jeffrey Gordon, Liz Gordon, and others.
Description: Join us as we explore Colorado from grasslands to glaciers! From the shortgrass prairie of northeastern Colorado to the aspen groves and alpine tundra of Rocky Mountain National Park, 2012 Camp Colorado has it all. Fabulous field trips will be punctuated by terrific educational workshops, making Camp Colorado a truly exceptional experience! Campers will find plenty of opportunities to take their birding skills to the next level, meet other young people with similar interests, explore careers in birding and ornithology, and, of course, learn about he diverse bird life and natural history of northern Colorado. Special birds we will look for include White-tailed Ptarmigan, Dusky Grouse, Ferruginous Hawk, Prairie Falcon, Mountain Plover, Northern Pygmy-Owl, Burrowing Owl, Williamson’s Sapsucker, McCown’s and Chestnut-collared longspurs, Virginia’s Warbler, and Brown-capped Rosy-Finch, to name just a few.

Camp Colorado 2011 

VENT’s Camp Chiricahua
Dates: July 30-August 10, 2012
Cost: $1350
Ages: 14-18
Location: southeastern Arizona (Tucson, Portal, Sierra Vista)
Leaders: Michael O’Brien and Louise Zemaitis
Description: Camp Chiricahua presents young birders with an extraordinary opportunity to share a mutual love of birds and nature in one of the greatest natural history locations in North America—southeastern Arizona. The primary focus of the camp is on the rich birdlife of the region, but we will also explore all aspects of nature, and spend time learning about habitats and ecosystems. Campers do not need to be expert birders, but should possess an interest in birds and nature. Campers should expect to see most of the special birds of southeast Arizona, including such sought-after species as Elegant Trogon, a good variety of hummingbirds, Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher, and Red-faced Warbler. Evening night drives will provide additional opportunities for mammals, reptiles, and insects.

VENT’s Camp Cascades
Dates: July 28-August 8, 2012
Cost: $1350
Ages: 14-18
Location: Puget Sound region and Cascades Mountains
Leaders: Victor Emmanuel and Barry Lyons
Description: Camp Cascades offers young birders the unique opportunity to experience the beautiful Pacific Northwest with their peers. Focusing on two spectacular parts of Washington State, the camp provides a comprehensive survey of the flora and fauna of the Puget Sound region and the dramatic Cascades Mountains. Daily activities will be based around thorough exploration of each of the distinct regions we visit, and campers will be educated on all forms of nature. Several lengthy hikes, birding field trips, and discussions will complement free time during which campers will have the luxury of exploring and discovering their natural surroundings on their own or in small groups. A sampling of the characteristic birds of the region includes Tufted Puffin, Rhinoceros Auklet, Marbled Murrelet, Harlequin Duck, Sooty Grouse, White-tailed Ptarmigan, Red-breasted Sapsucker, Varied Thrush, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, and Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch.

Photo by Jennie Duberstein

Puget Sound Bird Observatory's Cascades Teen Banding Camp
Dates: August 15-19, 2012
Cost: $550
Ages: 15-18
Location: Wenatchee National Forest, Washington
Leaders: Dan Froehlich and Don Norman
Description: PSBO’s Cascades Banding Camp trains teens in bird-banding techniques. While learning to band birds and interpret feather molt, participants will contribute to a study of how birds use moist high-elevation meadows in the Cascade Mountains to replace their feathers and prepare for southward migration. The data collected will help us unravel the role of these meadows in supporting the birds, and may even provide insight into how the effects of climate change will impact the meadows and the species that rely on them during this short but critical period. At the same time, the presence of birds of all ages, and in heavy molt, offers an ideal opportunity to learn about differences among birds.

On The Wing 1996

Project Puffin's Coastal Maine Bird Studies for Teens

Dates: June 17-22, 2012 and June 24-29, 2012
Cost: $1195
Ages: 14-17
Location: Hog Island on Musgongus Bay, Maine
Leaders (vary depending on session, but to include): Scott Weidensaul, Heather Richards, Doug Wentzel, Josh Potter, Stephen Kress, Don Kroodsma, Sara Morris, Pete Salmansohn, Susan Schubel, Bill Thompson III, Peter Vickery, and Julie Zickefoose
Description: During this intensive 6-day, 5-night program on Hog Island, some of the country’s best known birders and ornithologists will lead sessions on field identification, bird song recognition, and conservation practices. This program includes the opportunity to observe Audubon’s seabird conservation field research in action, and is the only Hog Island program that lands participants on Eastern Egg Rock during the puffin breeding season.

Taking data, On The Wing 1998; Photo by Jennie Duberstein