Hello from Camp Colorado!
Camp Colorado 2012 Participants on the Pawnee National Grasslands. From this spot we counted Lark Bunting, McCown's Longspur, Ferruginous Hawk (being mobbed by a Swainson's Hawk), Burrowing Owl, and Long-billed Curlew among highlights.
Hey Folks- I'm pleased to check in from this year's Camp Colorado, based in beautiful Estes Park. 18 keen young birders from every time zone in the lower 48 (+ Alaska) are participating this year, and every day I'm impressed by their enthusiasm (not just for birds but for nearly all nature), their skills (oh, to have eyes & ears that sharp again), and their knowledge (individual & pooled.) Despite whatever stereotypes you may have about teenagers wanting to sleep in, this crew isn't just ready to go on time but has been chomping at the bit early, even on 5am departure days.
I have been inspired and energized by spending time with this group and know I'll enjoy and appreciate my role as camp counselor until the last young birder has headed home! We've explored some great Northern Colorado habitats, so far including short grass prairie, montane, sub-alpine, alpine, and riparian life zones. With excellent habitats come excellent birds, and avian highlights have abounded (you'll hear more about these in other ABA blog posts, I know.)
One treat among many at this event for me has been to meet Lorenzo Rohani, who along with his dad Michael has produced a great resource for young birders: A Kid's Guide to Birding. Lorenzo supplied the abundant excellent photography, and Michael authored the text. In this book you can find:
• the basics of birding for kids,
• tips on what makes a good birder,
• how to recognize and identify birds,
• ways to attract birds to your own yard,
• steps for starting your own birding "life list,"
• places to find new birds,
• and much more!
If you know a youngster getting into birding or who you think might be interested, check it out!!