by Lucian Davis
The Idaho Young Birders Club is a project of the Golden Eagle Audubon Society. It’s aimed at getting young people interested in birds and conservation, and raising awareness about opportunities to participate in and aid conservation. The Club is led by high school and college students who want to give young people the same opportunities we had to get involved in birding and conservation.
The founder and director, Lucian Davis, has been birding for about two and a half years, starting as a high school junior. He just finished his freshman year at Boise State University, where he is majoring in Biology with an emphasis in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, on the path to a career in ornithology (the study of birds). He is also a dedicated volunteer for the Intermountain Bird Observatory (IBO), where he volunteers with hummingbird and songbird banding projects, as well as a variety of other IBO projects. He founded the Idaho Young Birders Club to share the knowledge he has gained and the opportunities he has had with other young people.
For Young People By Young People
While Idaho’s birding community is extremely welcoming to newcomers and young people, young people can be hesitant to enter communities dominated by people much older than them. Idaho Young Birders Club is a group led by young people, for young people, and can provide a more approachable space for young people to get involved with the local birding community. Many young people aren’t aware of the amazing opportunities in Idaho for getting involved in birding and conservation. Idaho Young Birders Club will use the connections team members have to help young people get involved and to help them explore careers in ornithology and conservation.
Due to COVID-19, Idaho Young Birders Club is currently limited to social media engagement. They’re getting their followers excited about Idaho’s birds through bird identification quizzes and posts featuring Idaho bird species. Lucian is also posting updates about a Black-capped Chickadee nest in his backyard, which he is monitoring for Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s NestWatch program. They promote opportunities for getting involved in birding and conservation by sharing posts from other birding or conservation organizations. Soon the Idaho Young Birders Club will have a website with information about the club and events, as well as resources for birding. Once the website is up and running, online workshops are planned covering topics like “Getting to Know Your Backyard Birds,” and “Participating in Community Science.”
Birding Trips and Conservation Projects
Idaho Young Birders Club will hold in-person events when group gatherings are allowed. There will be birding trips (including trips along the Boise River), visits to local conservation organizations, classes and workshops about birds, bird-themed game nights, and more. In addition to these in-person events, Idaho Young Birders Club will continue to be active on social media and continue online workshops. The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the benefits of online programs. Idaho Young Birders Club is based in Boise, and in-person events will be mostly in the Treasure Valley. Continuing to produce content for an online audience will allow the group to reach all of Idaho, and to reach people who may not be able to attend in-person events. Inclusivity is important, and this combination of in-person and online programming will offer something for everyone.
Idaho Young Birders Club can be found on Instagram as @idahoyoungbirders, and on Facebook as @idahoyoungbirdersclub. Those accounts will also have any updates about future website and events!