Congratulations to 16-year-old Marie McGee from Clinton Township, Michigan, the 2012 Young Birder of the Year! Marie was one of thirty-three young birders from across North America participating in this prestigious annual contest conducted by the American Birding Association and sponsored by Leica Sport Optics of North America.

Marie McGeeMarie McGee, 2012 Young Birder of the Year

Winning the 10-13 year-old catetgory was 11-year-old Zachary Marchuk from Neebing, Ontario.

Zachary Marchuk, 10-13 year-old age group winner.

Winning contestants receive prizes donated from numerous birding-related businesses and organizations. Marie and Zachary, as the top finishers in each age group, will receive a pair of Leica Trinovid 8×42 binoculars. Congratulations to everyone who participated in this prestigious competition.

You can see a list of all of the module winners on the ABA website, and in the coming week stay tuned to the ABA Young Birder Blog to see excerpts from the winning entries, interviews with the winners, and more.

"The high quality of the' entries shows the true dedication each one of these kids poured into their contest participation and submissions. I was captivated by the examples of talent we received for this year's contest," said Bill Stewart, ABA Young Birder of the Year Contest Coordinator. The ABA received entries from 18 different U.S. states, as well as from Ontario, Canada.

For more information about this year's contest or the 2013 YBY Contest, contact the American Birding Association headquarters at 719.578.9703, e-mail [email protected], or look for contest details online at