Birder's Guide

MAY 2015

Birder's Guide is the American Birding Association's newest publication. Each issue focuses on a key subject, providing tips from experienced birders on a wide variety of topics like Travel, Listing & Taxonomy, Gear, and Conservation & Community.

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10 Birder's Guide to Conservation & Community | May 2015 n early 2011, my wife and I attended a high school volleyball tournament in suburban Chicago at the Great Lakes Vol- leyball Center, a magnifcent 85,000-square-foot building with 12 full-size volleyball courts. We spent a day immersed in volleyball frenzy: dozens of uniformed teams, coaches with logo jackets, trained game offcials, and parents everywhere. I thought to myself: "Why can't young birders have this kind of organized encouragement and support?" At the time, we were planning a move back to my native Iowa, which had no formal young birder program. I quickly discovered that many young birder groups were popping up at state and local levels through- out the U.S., and there were a number of success- ful models to study. (In particular, you may wish to check out Chad Williams's article in the Jan./Feb. 2013 issue of Birding.) By spring of 2012, we had registered Iowa Young Birders as an Iowa non-proft corporation, drafted bylaws and policies, recruited a volunteer board of directors, and applied successfully for tax- exempt status with the Internal Revenue Service. In December 2014, we added a volunteer associate director, Tyler Harms, to help with all aspects of our program. In this article, I'd like to share high- lights about our feld trips and offer a list of the top seven things we've learned that may be useful to other young birder groups. I Iowa Young Birders invited ABA President Jeffrey A. Gordon to help lead 38 young birders and parents on a feld trip to Hickory Hill Park in Iowa City in September 2012. Photo © Helen Lindhorst Iowa Young Birders Story Start-Up Story of a Start-Up

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