Young birder Alex Haun recounts his experience at Camp Colorado in 2011.

By Alex Haun

I am a proud member of Baton Rouge Audubon Society (BRAS) and their young Birder Club (Kids Who Bird), the Louisiana Ornithological Society (LOS), the National Audubon Society, and the American Birding Association. From June 25 to July 2, 2011 I had the special opportunity to attend Camp Colorado, sponsored by the ABA, in Woodland Park, Colorado. My trip was possible due to the generous grants from BRAS and LOS. Our group was made up of 10 boys and girls from around U.S., with exception of one from Costa Rica. Our three highly trained counselors were Jennie Duberstein, Bill Schmoker, and Chip Clouse. We camped each night at the Catamount Institute's Mountain Campus in tents. We went bird watching in many unique terrains like Chico Basin Ranch, the Garden of the Gods Park, the Arkansas River Valley, The Nature Conservancy's Medano-Zapata Ranch, and the Pueblo Reservoir to name some highlights. I saw a total of 151 species of birds on this trip, about 70 of which I had never seen in the wild before. My favorites were Scaled Quail, Brown-capped Rosy-Finch, Blue Grosbeak, Black-headed Grosbeak, Western Tanager, Green-tailed Towhee, Curve-billed Thrasher, Chihuahuan Raven, Pinyon Jay, Western Scrub-Jay, Lewis's Woodpecker, Burrowing Owl, Flammulated Owl, Prairie Falcon, and Golden Eagle.

DSC05853(2011 Camp Colorado participants–the author is the third from the right.)

I hope many young birders get to see the beautiful birds that I and the other campers saw during Camp Colorado. It was fun to make new friends and share all our pictures and memories with others. I am really happy I got the chance to go on this trip and look forward to going on another birding camp adventure next summer!

IMG_0703About the author: Alex Haun is a 14-year-old 9th grader from Baton Rouge Louisiana. He received the 2011 Ted Parker Youth Scholarship Grant from the Lousiana Ornithological Society and a grant from the Baton Rouge Audubon Society that allowed him to attend Camp Colorado in 2011.