Now’s the time to register for the ABA’s summer camps for young birders

1/14/2014 | 0

American Avocet by Rob Mancini.

American Avocet by Rob Mancini.

Our friends at the American Birding Association have sent word about this year’s pair of Young Birder Summer Camps — Camp Colorado and Camp Avocet.

The first, Camp Colorado, will take place July 8-14 in Estes Park, Colorado, bordering the majestic Rocky Mountain National Park. ABA Young Birder Programs Coordinator Bill Stewart tells us that campers will find plenty of opportunities to take their birding skills to the next level, while meeting other young people with similar interests, exploring careers in birding and ornithology, and, of course, learning about the wonderful birdlife and natural history of northern Colorado.

The second, Camp Avocet, the ABA’s newest camp, will run August 10-16 at the University of Delaware’s Virden Conference Center in Lewes, Delaware. The center is located only minutes away from the Atlantic Ocean beaches and two major national wildlife refuges (Prime Hook and Bombay Hook). Migrating shorebirds will be a main study and focus, but due to the grand habitat diversity in southern Delaware — the Virden Center is just a short ride from six unique birding regions — the organizers expect to see more than 150 species.

As at past ABA camps, acclaimed adult birders who specialize in educating young birders will staff both camps. Stewart promises the camper-to-teacher ratio will be three to one, and says guest instructors will add to the mix each day.

Best of all, ABA scholarships are available for young birders aged 13-18 who are interested in attending either camp. Scholarships are made possible in part through Legacy Sponsor Leica Sport Optics, the Conserve School, and the Richard E. Andrews Memorial Scholarship.

To obtain more information, or to register, visit the ABA website or send an email to Bill Stewart. Camp enrollment is limited, and both camps sold out last year, so don’t delay.

A final thought: Back in September, when the ABA held its Mid-Atlantic Young Birder Conference, we asked 17-year-old Mike Hudson, a conference attendee, to write about it. (You can read Mike’s report here.) We’re looking for a pair of young birders to write about their experiences at Camp Colorado and Camp Avocet. If you’re interested, please drop me a note— Chuck Hagner, Editor

About the artist: Rob Mancini

Robert Mancini is an award-winning illustrator and artist with a lifelong interest in nature and birds and a passion for shorebirds and waders. He lives in Melbourne, Australia. Mancini has illustrated many natural history titles, including books published by The Nature Company (among these Birding and Natural Gardening) and by National Geographic, Australian Geographic, and Readers’ Digest. You can view his artwork and purchase a print of the illustration above on Etsy at RobManciniImages.