Birding can be an exciting hobby, but it’s even better when you have friends to share it with. As a teenage birder, meeting other young people who are equally enthusiastic about birds can make the experience so much more fun and meaningful.
There are several key reasons why it’s worthwhile to meet other young birding enthusiasts.
Having friends with similar interests provides motivation to get outside more often and explore new places. You’ll learn more by observing birds together, comparing notes and competing for who can identify species first.
Young birders can also plan birding trips and events, like camping overnight to spot nocturnal bird activity. Making memories together birding creates bonds that can last a lifetime.
Beyond having companionship in the field, teen birders can also join forces on citizen science efforts and conservation activities to help study and protect birds. And let’s not forget – it’s just plain fun to have friends to geek out with over your latest lifer!
You are not alone! Teen birders are multiplying…
With the growing interest in birding among teenagers, there are more and more potential friends out there. Meeting other youth who share this passion multiplies the rewards and creates friendships that can last a lifetime.
When you meet kindred spirits who share your niche interest at a young age, you gain a community that accepts and encourages you during the formative teen years.
In this article, we’ll share insider tips on how to connect with other bird-obsessed teens through your school, local birding clubs, festivals, and more.
You’ll learn creative ways to find your flock, make new birder buddies, and form lasting friendships over your mutual love of birds!
Let’s cover the best ways to meet other teenage birders.
Top ways to meet other teenage birders in person
Join Local Birding Clubs
One of the best ways to meet other young bird enthusiasts is by joining a local birding club.
The American Birding Association has a Find a Club feature on its website to help you locate birding organizations in your state or region. There you can search by location and type of club to find the right fit.
Many local clubs will have designated youth field trip leaders or mentors who can provide specialized instruction for teen birders.
Attending regular club meetings is a great chance to meet other youth and adults who share your interest in birding. If you have any reservations about taking this step, feel free to explore the idea in our article on how teenagers can overcome hurdles to joining birding clubs.
Club newsletter and email lists can alert you to spontaneous birding excursions where you’re likely to find fellow teen members.
Find your local Audubon chapter
Audubon chapters also bring together birding enthusiasts of all ages to learn, advocate for birds, and contribute to conservation efforts.
On the Audubon website, you can enter your zip code to find chapters nearby and contact them about getting involved. Let them know you are a teen interested in birding so they can welcome you into their youth programs.
Audubon events like the annual Christmas Bird Count are ideal for making friends with peers who also want to improve their bird ID skills.
Immersing yourself in the local birding club community provides built-in camaraderie and mentors. By joining clubs and chapters in your area, you’ll surround yourself with supportive young birders and adult role models who will enhance your enjoyment of birdwatching.
Check with Your School
Many high schools have dedicated birding or wildlife clubs that provide the perfect environment to bond over birds. These clubs arrange field trips, invite speakers, and participate in bird-related citizen science programs.
Getting involved allows you to transform fellow students into birdwatching buddies.
Look in the local community
Local community organizations are another place to uncover teen birding potential. Nearby nature centers, parks departments, zoos, or aquariums may offer special youth birding programs as well.
For example, some parks run summer birding camps for teens or guide Saturday morning bird walks for families and youth. Your local library may host nature activities or birding presentations for students too.
Don’t forget to check with youth community service groups like 4H or Scouts. They may have badge or patch programs related to bird studies that members could work on together.
The key is letting local institutions know you are an eager young birder looking for peers. They can help spread the word to connect you with like-minded youth.
Tapping into established programs like these makes it easy to meet others your age who share your passion.
Look for Youth Activities at Birding Festivals and Workshops
Birding festivals and workshops cater to an avid birder audience, making them prime spots to encounter enthusiastic teen participants.
Major festivals will often designate special field trips, workshops, or mentoring suitable for young birders. For example, the Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival in Texas offers mentor-led trips for youth ages 12-18.
Reaching out to festival organizers ahead of time can help them match you with other teens attending. We cover tips on getting the most out of birding festivals in this article.
Attend teen birding camps
Dedicated birding camps for youth are another avenue to consider.
A standout choice is the American Birding Association’s Camp Colorado for teens ages 13-18. Here you are immersed in a bird-centric community gaining skills and camaraderie. Scholarships are available to help offset costs.
Local Audubon camps are worth checking into as well. Spending time with peers as excited about birds as you are leads to fast friendships.
Check for teen scholarships
Explore scholarships that make it possible to attend major birding conventions and conferences. Organizations like the American Ornithological Society, Audubon, and ABA may offer financial aid and discounted teen rates.
Presenting at conventions lets you demonstrate your birding know-how as young leaders in the community.
Go birding – and chatting!
One of the simplest ways to connect with potential young birding buddies is to head out into the field yourself. Visit parks, refuges, wetlands and other birding hotspots near where you live.
While observing birds, chat with other youth you encounter to discover shared interests. You’re likely to meet teens who are just as eager as you to discuss the day’s sightings and swap birding stories.
Natural places with active bird feeders are sure to draw in young nature lovers. Strike up a conversation by asking what species they’ve spotted so far.
Swapping sightings is a perfect ice breaker that can lead to exchanging contact info for future birding adventures. Spending time in the field yields organic meetings with youth who share your passion.
Offer to Lead Local Bird Walks for Other Young people
Once you’ve gained some birding experience yourself, offer to lead outings focused on teens and families with children. Local parks, nature centers and libraries often welcome free programs led by knowledgeable youth.
Design a kid-friendly bird walk with fun activities to teach identification and appreciation of birds. Creating your own bird walk event for peers allows you to publicize the details on social media and directly invite fellow young birders.
As the leader, you set the tone to make it an engaging experience for all. Giving back through mentoring provides fulfillment while further expanding your social network of youth birders.
Ways to meet other teenage birders in real life… Solved!
Birding is booming among youth. That means teens have more opportunities than ever to connect with likeminded peers.
As covered in this article, you can join local clubs and Audubon chapters to meet other young birding enthusiasts in your area. Scouting out school clubs, nature programs, and community service groups may uncover potential birding buddies nearby.
Leveraging online platforms is an easy way to link up with fellow teen birders across the globe. From social media groups to specialized birding forums, there are thriving virtual birding communities for youth engagement.
Attending birding workshops, festivals and camps in-person provides immersive experiences bonding over birds.
Of course, spending time in the field and offering to lead local birding activities creates natural chances to befriend kindred spirits.
Birding provides endless opportunities to appreciate nature, contribute to science, and form lifelong friendships. So get out there and join the inspiring community of youth who share your passion for birds!
- 1 Top ways to meet other teenage birders in person
- 1.1 Join Local Birding Clubs
- 1.2 Find your local Audubon chapter
- 1.3 Check with Your School
- 1.4 Look in the local community
- 1.5 Look for Youth Activities at Birding Festivals and Workshops
- 1.6 Attend teen birding camps
- 1.7 Check for teen scholarships
- 1.8 Go birding – and chatting!
- 1.9 Offer to Lead Local Bird Walks for Other Young people
- 2 Ways to meet other teenage birders in real life… Solved!