Meet The Young Birders, Our Next Generation of Science and Conservation Leaders

Watch this video to join Andy Johnson as for the first time he tells the first story about the incredible birdlife he filmed on the remote St. Matthew Island in Alaska. Ten years ago, he was a high-school student attending our very first Young Birders Event. Now he’s a filmmaker in our Conservation Media program.

For 10 years, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology has hosted the Young Birders Event—a four-day immersive learning experience for high school students with a passion for birds and an interest in bird-related careers. With support from sponsor ZEISS Birding and donors like you, students from around the world have attended the event, including from the U.S., China, United Kingdom, India, the Bahamas, and Brazil. Several have gone on to become leading early-career scientists.

One Young Birder, 16-year-old Lorena Patrício, has ticked nearly 1,000 species on her life list, submitted more than 300 checklists to eBird, and coauthored a field guide to the birds of her neighborhood in Brazil using her own photos and illustrations. Another, Sarah Toner, attended the Young Birder event five years ago. Since then, as a Cornell student, she has conducted research on birds, written for Living Bird magazine, and traveled on an expedition to record wildlife in Kenya for the Lab’s Macaulay Library.

By nurturing passionate and talented young birders, you make dreams possible—and create the next generation of scientists and conservationists dedicated to protecting birds.

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