Birdwatching has seen a huge surge in popularity among teenagers and young people in recent years. Youth are flocking to birding due to its blend of science, nature appreciation and digital connection.
For many teen birders, the next step after developing basic ID skills is finding a community of fellow youth enthusiasts. While COVID-19 limited in-person meetups, teens leveraged digital platforms to connect with fellow young birders.
Online groups make it possible to find kindred spirits no matter where you live. Virtual birding fosters new friendships and mentors.
In this article, we’ll explore the top ways for teen birders to meet other young enthusiasts in the digital realm. From specialized birding forums to social media groups, there are thriving spaces for youth to share their passion.
We’ll also cover fun games and virtual events to interact with fellow bird-obsessed teens.
Let’s get some suggestions for ways to take advantage of digital opportunities, so young birders can find their flock and lifelong friendships.
Best ways to connect online with other teenage birders
Join Online Birding Groups
The American Birding Association sponsors a Young Birder’s Club perfect for teenagers looking to connect with peers who share their passion. After joining the ABA, you can become part of this vibrant community focused on young birders.
Membership grants access to special activities at birding festivals, leadership opportunities, and the club’s quarterly newsletter. You’ll also gain access to the club’s Facebook page which facilitates friendships.
The ABA’s Young Birder Facebook group provides a safe, moderated forum to exchange birding experiences. Here you can coordinate meetups at upcoming events and contests like Big Days.
Building relationships through the club expands your circle of friends as an emerging birder.
Play Birding Games Online
A more casual way to interact with potential birding buddies is by playing birding games together online. Birding apps present fun opportunities for teens to engage with fellow enthusiasts.
On eBird, youth can share observations then check leaderboards to see how their species counts and shared checklists stack up against peers. Friendly competition drives virtual connections.
The apps Merlin Bird ID and Bird Song Hero allow users to compete on quizzes testing bird knowledge. Teens can challenge their friends and see who can get the high score.
File sharing through Merlin also enables youth to help each other improve identification skills.
Using apps for social aspects
Leveraging the social sides of birding apps, whether competitions, chats, or shared content, bonds teens over their mutual interest in birds. It’s an easy way to meet kindred spirits online by doing an activity you already enjoy – using technology to boost your birding!
The Cornell Lab Bird Academy website also has games testing bird ID skills that you could play simultaneously and discuss.
Geoguessr is another fun online game where you use street view imagery to guess your location; teen birders can provide extra clues by identifying birds and habitats.
Making games out of birding facts and trivia can pique others’ interest while serving as virtual ice breakers.
Taking playful approaches like this helps form bonds over your mutual interest in birds. And it’s fun too!
Search Facebook Groups and Subreddits Related to Birding
Social media offers a trove of ways to interconnect with teen birding enthusiasts.
In the Facebook search bar, look for terms like “teen birding”, “young birders” or “youth birdwatching” along with your city or region. Join groups that sound appealing to connect with local enthusiasts.
There are also nationwide groups like “ABA Young Birders” where you can introduce yourself and indicate interest in finding other teens. Be specific that you are a youth looking to meet fellow birders in your age range.
The groups allow members to post photos, share birding plans, ask for ID help and more. Interacting through comments and messages is a great way to develop friendships.
Niche interests, near and far
Facebook provides community for niche interests like teen birding.
Groups dedicated to birding in your state or region are another good bet. Interacting on group pages allows you to befriend people with a shared interest in birds.
The social forum Reddit also has active “subreddits” or communities focused on birding topics. For example, r/birding and r/teenagers are places you could post about wanting to connect with other bird-loving youth.
Make sure to read a group’s rules before posting as a newcomer. But Reddit provides a platform to reach lots of potential friends.
Introduce Yourself on Birding Chat Boards
Most birding organizations and online communities have chat boards or forums where you can introduce yourself. When signing up or posting for the first time, share details like:
- Your age and location
- How you got into birding
- Your experience level
- What birds you most enjoy spotting
This background information helps others get to know you and makes it more likely for fellow teens to reach out. You can also directly ask if there are any opportunities for young birders in your area to connect or get together for outings.
Veteran members will be eager to welcome a youth interested in birding. Being active by posting questions, comments, and sightings will lead to relationships blossoming over your shared passion.
Chat boards provide a personal way to engage with the birding community.
Connect with Other Teens on Birding Forums Like ABA’s The Eyrie
There are several birding forums designed just for young people to congregate online.
A leader is the American Birding Association’s The Eyrie blog and companion Facebook group. Here young birders from the United States and beyond share stories, photos, and birding plans.
Join the conversation by commenting on posts to get noticed. You can also make your own post introducing yourself and your interest in finding other teen birders.
Leveraging popular social media platforms is a great way for teen birders to connect with youth who share their interests.
On Instagram, search recent posts using hashtags like #birder, #birding, and #youngbirder.
Like and leave comments on fellow teens’ photos and videos to start a conversation. Complimenting a beautiful bird capture or asking for ID help are great icebreakers.
Tactics for TikTok
The same tactic works on TikTok – follow hashtags to encounter youth birding content then interact.
Duet a teen’s birdwatching video with your own observation. Or leave a comment with tips to improve their birding skills.
Using geotags when posting yourself makes it easy for nearby enthusiasts to find and follow you. Social media provides a meeting place for bird-loving youth worldwide.
Attend Virtual Birding Workshops and Webinars
Many birding organizations quickly adapted to the pandemic by shifting workshops and classes online. Virtual workshops often include designated breakout groups specifically for young birders to connect.
Teen-focused webinars also bring youth enthusiasts together. Staying engaged through interactive features like polls and Q&As while learning sets the stage for friendship.
You can continue conversations after the event through provided online discussion boards. Virtual workshops make meeting peers with shared interests accessible.
Leverage Virtual Birding Festivals
Major birding festivals have embraced virtual components that offer youth inclusion. Look for teen meetups and social hours on event schedules.
Field trip leaders may also facilitate small group virtual birding experiences so teens can interact.
Virtual festival platforms recreate the social and learning aspects of in-person events. You may even make friends across greater distances than possible before!
With virtual options, birding festivals provide fun opportunities to meet fellow teen enthusiasts.
Wondering how to meet other teen birdwatchers online? Solved!
Even since in-person gatherings resumed after the pandemic, online platforms provide invaluable avenues for teen birders to connect.
Joining birding forums and social media groups allows you to meet youth enthusiasts beyond your hometown. Competing and chatting through birding apps fosters new friendships.
Virtual workshops, festivals and meetups offer additional opportunities to interact.
Taking advantage of the digital birding community will allow you to find your flock – a network of friends and mentors who share your passion.
The relationships forged online can lead to countless adventures, new discoveries, and lasting camaraderie. Don’t underestimate the power of social media and interactive platforms for igniting rewarding connections in the world of birds!
- 1 Best ways to connect online with other teenage birders
- 1.1 Join Online Birding Groups
- 1.2 Play Birding Games Online
- 1.3 Search Facebook Groups and Subreddits Related to Birding
- 1.4 Introduce Yourself on Birding Chat Boards
- 1.5 Connect with Other Teens on Birding Forums Like ABA’s The Eyrie
- 1.6 Follow #birder Hashtags on Instagram and TikTok
- 1.7 Attend Virtual Birding Workshops and Webinars
- 1.8 Leverage Virtual Birding Festivals
- 2 Wondering how to meet other teen birdwatchers online? Solved!