LAKE OCONEE — Bird watching and bird identification is a very pleasurable pastime for many people. My wife Wanda and I enjoy drawing an assortment of birds to our yard feeders and enjoy identifying the various bird species. We also get our grandchildren involved as much as possible.
In today’s article, I want to make you aware of an important bird watching event for children and young people that will be coming up in May and also a youth birding T-shirt art contest. You might say that is a long ways off but one of those two events requires planning, organization and registration for those that choose to participate.
Parents, children, teachers, youth clubs and bird watchers, Georgia’s Youth Birding Competition wants you to be involved in this annual program that is beginning its eight year. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division (DNR/WRD) and The Environmental Resources Network Inc. (T.E.R.N.) and other partners like the Atlanta Audubon Society and the Georgia Ornithological Society are sponsors for the event.
This will be the eighth Georgia Youth Birding Competition and it will take place at WRD’s Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center on April 13-14, 2013, and participants must register teams by March 31. Teams can register in one of four age divisions and then compete against other groups of the same age.
“Early participants in past birding events are now studying biology in college and former birding novices are now mentoring children in bird watching,” says WRD Wildlife Biologist and contest coordinator Tim Keyes. “It is incredibly rewarding to watch that happening”.
The free competition is open to teams ranging in age from kindergarten to high school (participants compete against other teams their age, in four age divisions). Fund raising is a voluntary component of this event. Teams can raise money for conservation organizations.