Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Letter from NYSOA

Below is a letter ( sent to our BBC website) from the NYS Ornithological Association whom we supported in 2011 Birdathon Youngs Birders Club. The importance of young birders is highly significant to ensure we have future leaders for the support of birds and conservation.--KB

From: "Carena Pooth" <carena@prodigy.net> 
Subject: [NYSOA Memclubs] Article for Your Club Newsletter
Date: April 16, 2012 7:59:50 PM EDT

NYSYBC Young Achievers - A Bright Future Ahead!
NYSOA’s New York State Young Birders Club is coming up on its fourth anniversary this year. Two of our original Youth Members – Hope Batcheller and Erich Lehner – recently “aged out” (at the ripe old age of 20) and became Supporting Adult Members. Four others are also in college already, and another will be starting this fall. That will leave only one of the original 8 Charter Members who will not yet be in college.
That’s life! The kids grow up and leave the nest! But empty nest syndrome will not be setting in at NYSYBC, because there are still 29 Youth Members, and half of them are under 15.
May 12th is the World Series of Birding and we’ll once again have two teams in the Youth Division. This is the club’s biggest fundraising activity and all WSB donations go to the Education/Scholarship Fund. You can donate online at nysyoungbirders.org (hint, hint).
NYSYBC’s young birders are truly exceptional kids, and not just because they’re birders. Every one of them is a delight and I could tell you great things about all of them, but there’s not enough space here. So I’ll limit this article to some of the most notable achievements I know about. I’m sure there are many accomplishments that our fine young members have kept quiet about (they’re not a boastful lot), so this is, without a doubt, an incomplete summary. 
Hope Batcheller, age 20 – Hope is currently attending Cornell University and has worked in both Churchill, Manitoba and Chile on Hudsonian Godwits. She was recently elected president of the Birding Club at Cornell. In March she went on a recording expedition to the Mojave Desert for the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. Hope is the captain of the Cornell Redheads team at the World Series of Birding this year.
Eamon Corbett, age 16 – Eamon was selected last year to be one of the editors of the American Birding Association’s blog for young birders (The Eyrie). Also last year, Eamon won one of 3 gold medals in the NYS Science Olympiad, specifically in the ornithology event.  He is currently a finalist for the American Museum of Natural History’s Young Naturalist Award in the 11th grade division for his essay on “The Impact of Invasive Tree Species on Bird Populations in a Northeastern Urban Park.”
Jacob Drucker (age 19) and Lila Fried (age 18): Jacob and Lila did a study on “Primary Projections in Austral Migrants” (“primary” as in feathers), based on actual measurements on specimens in the American Museum of Natural History’s vast collection  of bird skins. Jacob made a presentation about this study at NYSOA’s annual meeting in September 2011.
Alexander Gottdiener, age 15 – completed the Cornell Courtship and Rivalry in Birds course last year and is currently one of only 8 (out of 1000) 9th grade division finalists for the American Museum of Natural History’s  Young Naturalist Awards for his essay on “A Study of Predator Avoidance Behavior in Birds.”
Nathaniel Hernandez, age 17 – Although he lives in New Jersey, Nathaniel is an avid member of NYSYBC. Last year he spearheaded the effort to create a similar statewide YBC in his home state. He is President of NJYBC, maintains its website, and does much of the work to keep the club going with field trips and meetings. Nathaniel is continually involved in various bird research projects, including banding, grassland bird surveys, and tracking radio-tagged Bald Eagles. He is an enthusiastic writer about birds also, contributing to Cornell’s Neotropical Birds species accounts database at www.neotropical.birds.cornell.edu.
Tommy Kirby, age 14 – Last March, the Hoosic River Watershed Association published an article Tommy wrote about his experience as a volunteer for NYSDEC’s mid-winter Bald Eagle Survey. Check it out at http://hoorwa.org/the-river/eagles-along-the-hoosic.
Greg Lawrence, age 18 – Greg has been banding birds as a volunteer at the Braddock Bay Bird Observatory for a number of years and also enjoys studying herps (reptiles & amphibians).  At NYSOA’s annual meeting in September 2011, Greg presented the findings of his work with John Bateman monitoring amphibians to assess Great Lakes coastal wetland health.
Benjamin Van Doren, age 18 – Recently Benjamin took 5th place (winning $30,000) in Intel’s prestigious national Science Talent Search for the project he presented at the 2011 NYSOA annual meeting. Benjamin investigated “a poorly understood behavior of nocturnal migratory birds, called morning flight, which has potential implications for the growing wind power industry.” Check out http://www.societyforscience.org/STS and watch the video – it will make you feel better about the world! Last summer Benjamin volunteered time with Project Puffin, studying nesting seabirds – including Atlantic Puffins, Razorbills, and Leach's Storm-Petrels – off the coast of Maine. Benjamin is first in his class of 500 at White Plains High School.

Be sure to check out the NYSYBC website, where you will find a new “Hall of Fame” page showing all the club’s officers and holders of other luminary positions since 2009, plus the NYSYBC teams that have competed in the SuperBowl of Birding and World Series of Birding. You’ll also find links to several young birders’ own websites/blogs, field trip reports, and photography and artwork created by NYSYBC’s members.
The young birders and their parents are grateful to our generous Supporting Adult Members and Partner Clubs, as well as to the adult advisors who donate their time and work. 17 of NYSOA’s 40+ Member Clubs are NYSYBC partners. If your club is not on the list at nysyoungbirders.org/partners.html, please encourage your board to support this very important cause. NYSYBC Partner Club membership requires no more than a modest annual donation and – only if the Partner Club wishes – sponsorship of a field trip every year or two.
If you agree that it’s important to encourage youngsters to become lifelong birders and conservationists, please consider becoming a Supporting Adult member and seize the opportunity to see our young birders in action on a field trip!
Carena Pooth, NYSYBC Adult Chair