Jump to content
Whatbird Community

Whatbird's Young Birders!


MerMaeve

Recommended Posts

2 hours ago, Birding Boy said:

6500 photos from one checklist, would be truly impressive and terrifying at the same time. 

Opening and trying to load that  checklist would crash my city's servers for at least 3 days! 

  • Haha 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, kansabirdguy said:

My Nemeses: Blue-winged Teal, Bell's Vireo, Peregrine Falcon, Spotted Sandpiper, Eastern Towhee, etc., etc. (newest addition to my signature- the incomplete list of birds that every Kansas birder should have seen that I have yet to see.)

Go to Quivira at the right time of year and you'll be sick of Blue-winged Teal by the time you have to leave!

Also a good place for Peregrine Falcons during migration (watch for large flocks of shorebirds flushing simultaneously).

Bell's Vireo and Eastern Towhee seem to be kind of hit-and-miss around these parts. Listen for their vocalizations in proper habitat.

Spotted Sandpiper can be found near almost any body of water in the state, but they avoid heavily vegetated shores and prefer rocky ones. Lakeshores are good.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, Seanbirds said:

Go to Quivira at the right time of year and you'll be sick of Blue-winged Teal by the time you have to leave!

Also a good place for Peregrine Falcons during migration (watch for large flocks of shorebirds flushing simultaneously).

Bell's Vireo and Eastern Towhee seem to be kind of hit-and-miss around these parts. Listen for their vocalizations in proper habitat.

Spotted Sandpiper can be found near almost any body of water in the state, but they avoid heavily vegetated shores and prefer rocky ones. Lakeshores are good.

I have missed the season for all of the above this year, right?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/19/2021 at 6:48 AM, Charlie Spencer said:

Seriously, can you home-schooled types get credit for birding?  Bio or something?

I used to when we did Project Feeder Watch but we also had to do some science project type stuff (fun) and write a paper or two (which I hate)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, BirdNrd said:

Getting my vaccine today! Hopefully I can go birding this weekend but I don't know what the side affects are gonna be tho so I can't say for sure. 

I got mine the day before the spring Big Day. Luckily I felt fine. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Everyone always says that Audubon bird walks are a great way to meet other birders. But how am I supposed to participate when each one costs between $65 and $85?? It's just not sustainable for a high schooler like me. And they don't even provide transportation or lunch or anything. What are y'all's Audubon chapters like? Are their events expensive as well? How do you get involved in the birding community without busting your wallet?

  • Confused 1
  • Sad 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, Colton V said:

Everyone always says that Audubon bird walks are a great way to meet other birders. But how am I supposed to participate when each one costs between $65 and $85?? It's just not sustainable for a high schooler like me. And they don't even provide transportation or lunch or anything. What are y'all's Audubon chapters like? Are their events expensive as well? How do you get involved in the birding community without busting your wallet?

Well, apparently Portland Audubon USED to do free local bird walks, but they haven't done them in like two years due to the pandemic....

  • Sad 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Colton V said:

Everyone always says that Audubon bird walks are a great way to meet other birders. But how am I supposed to participate when each one costs between $65 and $85?? It's just not sustainable for a high schooler like me. And they don't even provide transportation or lunch or anything. What are y'all's Audubon chapters like? Are their events expensive as well? How do you get involved in the birding community without busting your wallet?

Short version - it sounds like the Portland chapter is using their walks as fund raisers. 

Long version - as far as I could tell, the local chapter in Columbia SC wasn't very active before COVID came along.  But in the last three or four months they've put together three walks, and have coordinated with other agencies for a couple of conservation activities.  At least two of the walks were free; I don't remember about the third.

The Aiken SC-Augusta GA chapter is an hour down the road.  They do walks at least monthly, often more frequently.  The only fees they charge are to pass along what's charged by the facility their visiting.

Pre-COVID, the regional Carolina Bird Club held quarterly meetings, with each quarter held in a different part of the state.  Their programs offered a three-day weekend with over 20 different full- and half-day walks for you to pick and choose.  The club's registration fee was a flat $40 regardless of how many you picked, plus any fees charged by the individual facilities for the walk you selected.  They're trying gear back up again in January at the Outer Banks.

Are there group opportunities in the area other than Audubon?  There's a city park here that has a volunteer-led walk monthly.  The park admission is $5 but the walk is free.  A local garden center also guides walks periodically for around $15.

So yeah, $65 is not just frickin' ridiculous, it's exclusionary.  I'm interested in knowing what Portland spends the money on.

Edited by Charlie Spencer
  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, Colton V said:

Everyone always says that Audubon bird walks are a great way to meet other birders. But how am I supposed to participate when each one costs between $65 and $85?? It's just not sustainable for a high schooler like me. And they don't even provide transportation or lunch or anything. What are y'all's Audubon chapters like? Are their events expensive as well? How do you get involved in the birding community without busting your wallet?

In Vermont there are often events called 'monitoring walks', which go back to the same location every month and seek out birds.  The first of these that I was involved with was a group of local birders, not directly involved with Audubon.  As part of the group I was able to get involved with other trips and projects.  Two others I have been involved with are sponsored by the local county Audubon Society.  You might end up with 30 or more birders, but may not get many at all.  One time on a very cold and inhospitable day I was the leader of the walk and ended up being the only one there.  These two groups generally end the walk with snacks (provided) and group chitchat.  All 3 of the above are free.  Another nearby county sponsors occasional walks at different locations, and asks for donations from people who attend (commonly $10 in my experience) to raise funds like Charlie mentioned.

Other places I've made contact with other birders are at local hotspots, especially if there is a rarity hanging about, but I guess everybody does that.

Obviously I'm not a 'young birder', but everyone is always enthusiastically welcomed at these events.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, Colton V said:

Everyone always says that Audubon bird walks are a great way to meet other birders. But how am I supposed to participate when each one costs between $65 and $85?? It's just not sustainable for a high schooler like me. And they don't even provide transportation or lunch or anything. What are y'all's Audubon chapters like? Are their events expensive as well? How do you get involved in the birding community without busting your wallet?

Wow, I'm surprised they charge instead of asking for donations.  The walks I've been on are free and other Audubon events (like art shows, which I'd pay for) are also free to join, even for non-members.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, they have four free events in the next few weeks, although only one is on a weekend.

https://www.meetup.com/Portland-Audubon-Outings/

I'm sure it isn't their intent but the Portland A. web site comes across as less-than-accessible for new or underfunded birders.  Almost all events take place either during the week or have a fee (the lowest one I saw was $45).  I found only one event that was both free and on a weekend.  I can't imagine what they do with an $85 fee for a field trip that doesn't include transportation or food.  Are the entry fees to parks and reserves that high in OR?  Are they paying professional guides?  Around here, trips are led by volunteer chapter members.  Or maybe people in NW OR are used to paying this much for discretionary entertainment?

Yes, there are definite benefits to birding with a group, but I don't know if they're worth $85 for something I can do for free on my own.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It seems only fair to go straight to the source.  I e-mailed the contacts for Portland A's adult and youth programs this morning.  Let's see what they have to say.

"I’m active on a bird ID and discussion forum.  One of our young birders from the Portland area recently posted a question that I thought should be brought to your attention. 

https://forums.whatbird.com/index.php?/topic/143-whatbirds-young-birders/&do=findComment&comment=157349

<In addition to the link, I pasted @Colton V's original post> 

Several of us have replied and I admit my own responses were less than complimentary.  For balance, I’d like to ask Portland Audubon to respond so we can hear directly from the organization.  If you do not feel comfortable joining Whatbird.org, you may reply by e-mail to me; I’ll copy and paste your replies verbatim into the discussion in question."

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Charlie Spencer said:

It seems only fair to go straight to the source.  I e-mailed the contacts for Portland A's adult and youth programs this morning.  Let's see what they have to say.

"I’m active on a bird ID and discussion forum.  One of our young birders from the Portland area recently posted a question that I thought should be brought to your attention. 

https://forums.whatbird.com/index.php?/topic/143-whatbirds-young-birders/&do=findComment&comment=157349

<In addition to the link, I pasted @Colton V's original post> 

Several of us have replied and I admit my own responses were less than complimentary.  For balance, I’d like to ask Portland Audubon to respond so we can hear directly from the organization.  If you do not feel comfortable joining Whatbird.org, you may reply by e-mail to me; I’ll copy and paste your replies verbatim into the discussion in question."

As I mentioned earlier, they did used to do occasional free walks in the spring and summer (which I didn’t realize at the time of posting) but they haven’t done those in two years due to COVID. But yeah, aside from those occasional walks, everything else they do is pretty expensive. And their free walks don’t go to the good spots!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Charlie Spencer said:

Well, they have four free events in the next few weeks, although only one is on a weekend.

https://www.meetup.com/Portland-Audubon-Outings/

I'm sure it isn't their intent but the Portland A. web site comes across as less-than-accessible for new or underfunded birders.  Almost all events take place either during the week or have a fee (the lowest one I saw was $45).  I found only one event that was both free and on a weekend.  I can't imagine what they do with an $85 fee for a field trip that doesn't include transportation or food.  Are the entry fees to parks and reserves that high in OR?  Are they paying professional guides?  Around here, trips are led by volunteer chapter members.  Or maybe people in NW OR are used to paying this much for discretionary entertainment?

Yes, there are definite benefits to birding with a group, but I don't know if they're worth $85 for something I can do for free on my own.

Interesting, how did you find this meetup link? I couldn’t find any of these events listed on their website. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/24/2021 at 12:04 PM, Colton V said:

Interesting, how did you find this meetup link? I couldn’t find any of these events listed on their website. 

On their home page, click 'Go Outside', then 'Classes, Outings, Ecotours'. 

Click 'Free and Sliding Scale Programs'. 

Click 'Free Outings'. 

Finally, click the 'View Outings' button.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/24/2021 at 7:15 AM, Charlie Spencer said:

It seems only fair to go straight to the source.  I e-mailed the contacts for Portland A's adult and youth programs this morning.  Let's see what they have to say.

2 days later, 1.5 of them being weekday work days, but no response.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I heard from Erin Law with Portland Audubon.  Please note she plans a more detailed response later.

Hi Charlie, 

Thank you for reaching out. I'd like to give this question the lengthy answer it deserves and I hope to have time to do that tomorrow. There is a lot to say and these are very important concerns/questions.  

My short answer is our Audubon Birding Days (and most of our fee-based programming) are not financially accessible as we depend on those for revenue to fund free/sliding scale programming. We used to provide transportation for these but due to COVID we have not been able to do so for a year and a half. 

We have done free, local Bird Song Walks every April and May. They run for 8 weeks and are at up to 8 different locations throughout Portland. We've dearly missed them during COVID and plan on restarting those next Spring. We also have our free, volunteer outings year-round (the meetup group). These were also canceled during COVID and we just restarted those a month and a half ago. Only a handful of leaders are comfortable leading trips at the moment and we are looking forward to when more leaders come back and we can offer more of these at different times and different days of the week, as we have in the past. This past summer we held these sliding scale programs, geared towards beginners.  

I've looked at the forum discussion and I think I have touched on the main points. I plan to elaborate more, especially on the question of why we do fee-based programming at all.  

Thank you for the opportunity to respond. I appreciate that very much. 

Happy birding,

Erin

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...