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Minnesota Young Birders Club

Minnesota Young Birders ClubThe Minnesota Young Birder Club connects youth to other young birders in the state via monthly field days, workshops, and social media. We provide a challenging environment where youth can learn about birds, conservation and science while socializing with friends.

What:

  • Skills: Through hands on workshops you can learn about how to identify, attract and help birds. You'll develop skills with the latest gear and learn how and where to find birds in the field.
  • Conservation: By taking part in conservation projects you can help improve habitat for birds in Minnesota.
  • Science: Get trained on citizen science programs such as e-bird, project feeder watch, project nest watch and more. You'll not only learn how scientists collect data but you can actually take part in and contribute to real scientific research.
  • Community: Interact with peers in friendly competitions, challenges and learning experiences. Share your photos, observations and stories online. Members interact via our private invitation-only Facebook group. Youth members can post photos or questions while keeping up on what's happening in the group.

Events are held monthly. Members can view our calendar of events online.

Who:
The club is open to youth ages 13-18 from Minnesota and Western Wisconsin. Any youth may attend one sample event without being a member but you must become a member if you wish to continue to attend events.

When:
Official meet-ups and field trips are held monthly. There are workshops, field days and a week-long summer camp.

Where:
Field sessions take place across the metro. We provide free transportation from the Science Museum of Minnesota for the first 13 registrants for each field trip. Workshops usually take place at the Lee & Rose Warner Nature Center located in Marine on St. Croix.

How do I join?

Youth members pay just $20 per year and can then attend as many events as they wish for no charge. The week-long summer camp is an additional fee. Once you join you'll receive a new member packet with information on events and how to access our Facebook group.

Youth Member Application

Adults are encouraged to become club sponsors. Adult sponsors help underwrite the cost of the club for our youth members and make our education programs possible.

Adult Sponsor Application

If you have any questions about the club contact our Outreach Naturalist at warneroutreach@smm.org.

Upcoming Programs

This is a sample of some of our programs. Program descriptions have more details on our online calendar viewable by members.

Fall Migration Banding
Saturday, September 21, 2013
9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Come help us discover what species of birds are migrating though the nature center this fall. There are already reports of all kinds of warblers showing up in the Twin Cities as they migrate south in search of food. This will be a great opportunity to see the sometimes confusing non-breeding plumages of species up close. We'll catch the birds, ID them, tag them and send them on their way.

Go Behind the Scenes at the Science Museum!
Thursday, October 17, 2013 (MEA break from school)
9:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Go behind the scenes with Jackie Hoff, Director of Collection Services at the Science Museum of Minnesota! She'll take us into the secure area of the museum where we can see the collections usually not on display to the public. We'll see bird study skins from around the world and hopefully also pieces from the ethnographic collection such as rainbow colored feathered ceremonial head dresses from Peruvian tribes. We're there for the birds but there will be time to see dinosaur bones and many other wonders as well.

Listing and eBird Workshop
Saturday, November 2, 2013
9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
(Meeting at the Warner Nature Center)
With almost 10,000 birds in the world how do you keep track of which one's you've seen? Join us for a quick workshop on how to use the e-Bird online tool that helps you track what you've seen in the field. E-Bird is more than a listing tool though, it is a citizen science program that helps scientists learn about birds based on the data you enter. Come learn how e-bird can help you record your birds and also find out about the birds you might be missing. If time permits we'll also head outside for a short hike. Note: As this is a workshop and not a field trip there is no van transportation from the Science Museum.

Year-end Pizza Social
Saturday, December 14, 2013
12 - 2 p.m.
Lee & Rose Warner Nature Center

Our first year soon draws to a close! Let's get together to celebrate our year of birding. We'll have pizza and ice cream and we'll celebrate the birds we saw. Awards will be given out for birding accomplishments during the year. This will also be your chance to help plan how the club will go next year. Share your ideas and give feedback on proposed field trips and workshops. What do YOU want the club to be? Come with your ideas.

Past Programs

Lake Byllesby Shorebird Field Trip
Saturday, March 16, 2013
8 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Description: Located just a short drive from the Twin Cities, this large lake is an important rest stop for waterfowl migrating north in the spring. Expect Greater White-fronted Geese, Snow Geese and perhaps some Ross's geese. There should be early arriving ducks and other birds as well. We'll learn how to use spotting scopes and check out these cool large birds. Bring a bag lunch.

Nestbox Assembly and Project Nestwatch Workshop
Saturday, April 13, 2013
1-3 p.m.

This is a workshop day hosted at the Lee & Rose Warner Nature Center. We'll put together new Gilbertson-style bluebird nest boxes to help replace the aging Peterson-style bluebird boxes at the nature center and then head out into the prairie to put them up. We might catch a glimpse of some early returning birds on our hike. After we put up the nest boxes we'll learn how to take part in Cornell's exciting Nestwatch program. Nestwatch uses trained citizen scientists to monitor active nests. It is a really cool thing to get involved in. You can monitor a nest at home, a park or a local nature center.

Warbler Workshop & Bird Banding at Warner Nature Center
Saturday, May 18, 2013
9-11 a.m.

Come learn about the incredible warblers that migrate though Minnesota in the spring. We'll work on ID'ing birds by sound, field marks and habitat. We'll see blue-winged warners, palm warblers, myrtle warblers, common yellowthroats and more. We'll even learn about bird banding and get to walk the nets with the experts to see what hidden species are migrating though. This is an incredible opportunity to see these species up close.

Hike through Crosby Farm Park in St. Paul
Saturday, June 15, 2013
9-11 a.m.

Join us on a hike though Crosby Farm Park in St. Paul with Ranger Sharon from the National Park Service. Sharon is an accomplished birder and author who has birded around the world. With her help we'll try to track down some Indigo Buntings and perhaps even the elusive Prothonotary Warbler. There are lots of birds to be seen at this hidden gem of a park.

Young Birders Club Field Camp
Monday-Friday, July 15-19, 2013
9:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. each day
This week-long field camp at Warner Nature Center is an intense week of birds for members of the Minnesota Young Birders Club. We'll spend part of our time on site at Warner and part of our time exploring on field trips to cool sites. Our goal is to rack up as many birds as possible in a week of fun. We'll bird in bogs, prairie, hardwood forests, pine forests, marshes, and lakeshores. We'll take part in habitat restoration, bird banding, and more. Refine your id skills while having a great time with other young birders. If you are already a member of the club, come hang out with friends. If you're not already a member of the MN Young Birders Club, this is a great opportunity to get involved.