ABA Young Birder of the Year Modules

ABA Young Birder of the Year Modules2018-07-18T15:24:30+00:00

There are a total of five modules that make up the contest to accommodate a broad range of interests in young birders. Winners are selected for each of the five modules in two age categories. In addition, we will award a Grand Prize for the Young Birder of the Year 2017 in each age division. You do not have to participate in the Grand Prize Young Birder of the Year category to participate in the contest.

ENTRY SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS: The following group of instructions, requirements and guidelines have been setup to best serve both the contestants and judges.  Due to the ever-increasing popularity and increases in enrollment for the contest, any module entry deviating from the submission instructions will be eligible for disqualification.

Click on the links below to go directly to more detailed instructions for each module.

Field Notebook
Conservation/Community Leadership
Illustration
Writing
Photography

FIELD NOTEBOOK

The Field Notebook Module entails taking field notes on birds that you observe in the field. You should be birding and taking notes at least every other week, preferably more often. Your notes should be supplemented by field sketches. Keep in mind that field sketches are often quick, loose drawings and not as detailed as a technical illustration. In addition to the sketches, small reference photos are also acceptable. This module is intended to help you sharpen your bird observation and note-taking skills as well as learn more about bird distribution and behavior in your home area and places you visit. Taking good field notes will improve your overall birding skills, as it requires you to look more closely at birds than you may have ever done so before. It is no coincidence that virtually all of the world’s leading birders take meticulous field notes. Minimum entry is 8 full notebook pages (include a title page and side by side spreads). Maximum entry is 1 full notebook.

The Field Notebook is one of the two major modules for the Young Birder of the Year Grand Prize Awards. To compete for the Young Birder of the Year Grand Prize Awards, do both major modules, OR do one major module and two supporting modules.

SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS for Field Notebook Module:

We will supply you one Official Field Notebook for submitting your entry for this module. Each contestant is allowed to enter only one (1) field notebook.

Please submit all entries in the official field notebook (which we provide with your official notebook with your registration packet) or a notebook of the same dimensions. 5″x 8.5″.  

The Field Notebook Module should be submitted in three parts; mail the original field notebook to the ABA office, scan or photograph up to (8) eight pages(side by side spread = 1 page) of the original and submit as a single Powerpoint or Keynote presentation.  The pages must be scanned or photographed as hi-res jpegs and inserted into the a Powerpoint or Keynote program. In other words, make a slideshow of all 8 of your notebook pages you are submitting for the judges to review. Please include a single slide as an introductory slide with your name, age, and the name of the module.  The third part of your entry is to export the Powerpoint or Keynote presentation complete with all the text slides to a PDF document.

File label for the Field Notebook Module entry should follow this format:

FieldNotebook-YourName-Age for example: FieldNotebook-JanetBirder-16

Your entry is to be submitted in THREE formats:

1.  Submit your original Field Notebook by mail to the ABA office:

We suggest you use priority mail and get a tracking number mail to :
ABA-YBY
P.O. Box 744
Delaware City, DE 19706

2. A Powerpoint or Keynote presentation.

3. A Powerpoint or Keynote presentation exported into a PDF.

We will send you instructions for uploading your submissions closer to the due date.

Failure to follow all submission guidelines will cause your entry to be disqualified. Please read and follow all submission guidelines for each module you enter and if you have questions feel free to ask for clarification.

Make sure your name and age category is clearly written on the front cover of the notebook. Use a label or tape a piece of paper with your name on it. We will return your notebook at the end of the judging process. NOTE: We don’t know of any cases of original field notebook being lost or damaged in the mail or during the judging process but the chance for such loss or damage, though small, is real.

We encourage adult mentoring and are curious as to how our young birders are getting such help. Please include a sentence or two letting us know if you had adult help, if any, and how much on this module.

Look here for some expert advice offered by Steve Howell on field notebooks:

http://blog.aba.org/2015/08/howell-on-field-notebooks-at-the-eyrie.html

Failure to follow all submission guidelines will cause your entry to be disqualified.  Please read and follow all submission guidelines for each module you enter and if you have questions feel free to ask for clarification.

Field Notebook

A page from 2014 YBY winner Alec Wyatt’s field notebook.

CONSERVATION AND COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP

Pick a project that will involve time in the field and will either further the conservation of a bird species or community and/or their habitat. Or, choose a project that will improve birding opportunities, or educate and inspire other birders, be they new or experienced, younger or older. Here are a few possibilities, just to spark your imagination:

  • Create and monitor a nest box trail

  • Create and monitor a bird feeding station somewhere publicly accessible (Not in your own backyard)

  • Create and monitor a bird friendly habitat in your own yard, property, or a community area

  • Create a printed or online site guide or similar materials for a birding area and show it in use

  • Offer field trips or fun classes designed to inspire and educate birders

  • Participate in a leadership capacity in a young birders’ group, developing the program in a meaningful way

  • Participate in an ongoing conservation or community action project, documenting your experiences and contribution

  • Set up and maintain an online presence for a bird club or similar group

  • Produce videos or podcasts with the goal of inspiring enjoyment and/or protection of wild birds in others

  • Write a curriculum on birds and submit it to your school to teach

  • Write and illustrate and submit a publishing plan for a book on birds or bird conservation

*Submit a brief written description of what you intend to do no later than June 15, 2018, preferably earlier, to [email protected].

Conservation/Community Leadership projects must be approved by ABA staff before you proceed. Approval and/or tweaks and/or changes suggested will be given within 2 weeks of a proposal being submitted. 

You should expect to spend at least 40 hours on your project, not counting time involved in documenting it.  The documentation of your project should include writing and imagery that captures what you aimed to do, your experiences during the project, and notable successes or failures and what you learned or skills you developed along the way.

SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS for Conservation and Community Leadership Module:

The Conservation and Community Leadership Module is to be submitted in two formats–

a single Powerpoint or Keynote presentation that is then exported to a PDF. Your presentations may include photographs, video, audio, charts, graphs, text*, links to websites, and/or other graphics and media.

The goal is to tell us the story or stories of your project: how you planned or imagined it would go, how that matched the reality, what you learned, who or what was impacted, challenges you faced, people you met along the way, and so on.

*A special note about text in your PowerPoint and Keynote presentations: presentations are not designed to present large amounts of text. A good rule of thumb is not to use any font sizes smaller than 30 points, maybe 24 in a pinch. If you have supporting or explanatory text that needs to be included, you can either put it in the Presenter Notes, or just include a “text slide” or two where needed. Please, even for a text slide, do not use fonts smaller than 18 points.

We encourage and would like you to acknowledge adult mentoring and are curious as to how and from whom our young birders are getting such help. Please include a sentence or two letting us know if you had adult help, if any, and how much on this module.

File label for the Conservation and Community Leadership entry should follow this format:

ConCom-YourName-Age  for example: ConCom-JohnBirder-16

Your entry is to be uploaded in TWO formats:

  1.  The Powerpoint or Keynote presentation.
  2.  The Powerpoint or Keynote presentation exported into a PDF

Failure to follow all submission guidelines will cause your entry to be disqualified.  Please read and follow all submission guidelines for each module you enter and if you have questions feel free to ask for clarification.

The author teaching students to make nest boxes.

2014 YBY Alec Wyatt teaches monitors nest boxes with his students.

ILLUSTRATION

The Illustration module involves rendering birds that you see. You should be regularly sketching birds, at least every other week, and completing a detailed drawing or painting of a bird at least once a month. Any illustrative medium is acceptable and may include ink, pencil, colored pencil, paint, scratchboard or other medium of your choice. Try to do a few drawings while you’re watching a cooperative bird in the field or at bird feeders. You may also include illustrations of captive zoo or pet birds but your submission should include at least 75% wild, free-living birds.  All submitted illustrations must be your own original work. Though you may refer to works of others as inspiration and research material, you must not violate copyright law. Minimum entry is 5 illustrations, paintings, etc. with a maximum of 10.

The Illustration Module is one of the three supporting modules for the Young Birder of the Year Grand Prize Awards. To compete for the Young Birder of the Year Grand Prize Awards, do both major modules, OR do one major module and two supporting modules.

SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS for Illustration Module:

The Illustration Module should be submitted in three parts; mail the original art to the ABA office, scan or photograph the originals and submit as a single Powerpoint or Keynote presentation.  The illustrations must be scanned or photographed as hi-res jpegs and inserted into the a Powerpoint or Keynote program. In other words, make a slideshow of all 5 to 10 of your illustrations you are submitting for the judges to review. Please include a single slide as an introductory slide to tell the medium used and title of piece before each art slide. The third part of your entry is to export the Powerpoint or Keynote presentation complete with all the text slides to a PDF document.

Please submit all entries in the Illustration module on art boards or paper within the size range of 8” x 10” up to 14”x 18”. If you would like to submit sculpture or some other medium please call for special permissions and  instructions. We are happy to accept other mediums, as long as we consider the shipping and handling of these items but may require extra return shipping costs to submit.

We encourage adult mentoring and are curious as to who is giving and how much our young birders are getting help. Please include a sentence or two letting us know if you had adult help, if any, and how much on this module. This is fine and acceptable.

File label for the Illustration Module entry should follow this format:

Illustration-YourName-Age  for example:  Illustration-JohnBirder-16

Your entry is to be submitted in THREE formats:

  1.  Submit the 5 – 10 originals by mail to the ABA Headquarters
  2.  A Powerpoint or Keynote presentation.
  3.  A  Powerpoint or Keynote presentation exported into a PDF

We will send you instructions for uploading your submissions closer to the due date.

Failure to follow all submission guidelines will cause your entry to be disqualified.  Please read and follow all submission guidelines for each module you enter and if you have questions feel free to ask for clarification.

Hummingbirds, by Rosemary Kramer.

Hummingbirds, by Rosemary Kramer.

WRITING

Write about birds, birders, birding, and your experiences with any or all of them, whether it be poetry, short story, essay or other prose. You should write at least once a week, completing an essay, story or poem at least once a month. Essays should be relatively short; no more than three pages. Write about your favorite birds, a special or significant birding experience, an unexpected encounter or insight, or your thoughts on birding. Use your powers of observation and description to their fullest! Be creative in your word use and make your writing reflect your own thoughts. Read a variety of literary styles on birding and other subjects for examples and inspiration but strive to develop your own voice and style. Non-fiction, fiction and poetry are acceptable, so feel free to stretch out and experiment.  Minimum entry is 6 pages of writing samples and a maximum of 10 pages.

The Writing Module is one of the three supporting modules for the Young Birder of the Year Grand Prize Awards. To compete for the Young Birder of the Year Grand Prize Awards, do both major modules, OR do one major module and two supporting modules.

SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS for Writing Module:

The Writing Module should be combined and submitted as a single PDF document. (.pdf). There should be a title page with  1. your name 2. the Title of the piece 3. the word count before each writing piece submitted.

Minimum entry is 6 pages of writing samples and a maximum of 10 pages.  (this count does not include the title pages)

Please include a cover page before each entry with title, author of the piece and word count.

File label for the Writing Module entry should follow this format:

Writing-YourName-Age for example:  Writing-JohnBirder-16

We encourage adult mentoring and are curious as to how much and how our young birders are getting such help. Please include a sentence or two letting us know if you had adult help, if any, and how much on this module.  This is fine and acceptable.

Look here for some expert advice offered by Ted Floyd on writing:

http://youngbirders.aba.org/2015/09/the-aba-young-birder-of-the-year-contest-advice-from-a-writing-module-judge.html

Failure to follow all submission guidelines will cause your entry to be disqualified.  Please read and follow all submission guidelines for each module you enter and if you have questions feel free to ask for clarification.

PHOTOGRAPHY

Photographs for this module must be digital. All of the images of birds you submit should be of wild birds, though they may be interacting with people or man-made structures. For example, backyard and feeder birds are allowed. Photos will be judged on overall artistic merit, creativity and technical skill as well as labeling.  Minimum entry is  6 photographs with a maximum of 10.

The Photography Module is one of the three supporting modules for the Young Birder of the Year Grand Prize Awards. To compete for the Young Birder of the Year Grand Prize Awards, do both major modules, OR do one major module and two supporting modules.

SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS for Photography Module:

The Photography  Module is to be submitted in two formats as a single Powerpoint or Keynote presentation as well as a PDF.

The Photography Module should be submitted as a single Powerpoint or Keynote presentation with hi-res jpegs and inserted into the program. In other words, make a slideshow of all 6 to 10 of your photos you are submitting for the judges to review. After each Photo slide, please include a single slide as an summary slide to tell the camera and settings used and title of piece. Make sure to include on that title slide  1. the bird’s or birds’ name or names  2. a short two to five sentence commentary for each photo. Please, do not use fonts smaller than 18 points.

We encourage adult mentoring and are curious as to how our young birders are getting such help. Please include a sentence or two letting us know if you had adult help, if any, and how much on this module. This is fine and acceptable.

File label for the Photography Module entry should follow this format:

Photo-YourName-AGE  for example:  Photo-SusieBirder-16

Your entry is to be submitted in TWO formats:

  1. The Powerpoint or Keynote presentation.
  2. The Powerpoint or Keynote presentation exported into a PDF.

Failure to follow all submission guidelines will cause your entry to be disqualified.  Please read and follow all submission guidelines for each module you enter and if you have questions feel free to ask for clarification.

Prothonatory Warbler, by Aspen Ellis.

Prothonotary Warbler, by Aspen Ellis.

ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE 2018 ANNUAL MEETING OF THE MEMBERS OF THE ASSOCIATION

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