TAKE A KID BIRDING!
How it All Began
It started as a simple idea which grew into a mission.
It began with our involvement in New Jersey Audubon's World Series of Birding. An annual event, WSB is a game where teams seek as many bird species as possible by sight or sound within 24 hours just in New Jersey. As organizers of North America’s premier birding competition we were involved with hundreds of birders, very few of whom were kids. We made it our mission to reach out and get kids to participate in WSB and we succeeded. In 2007, 150 kids participated in the event. If the WSB is any measure of Take A Kid Birding, it works.
Then we thought, why focus on just one day a year? So, in May 2004, we launched “Take a Kid Birding!” A national campaign to get kids involved in an engaging and exciting pastime that knows no age barriers. Birding!
Its simple – a program aimed at adults, focusing on kids with a simple purpose – Take a Kid Birding! Share with them the wonder and discovery you have experienced as a birder. Or if you are new into birding you can discover together. It’s something you can do with your own children, niece or nephew, grandchildren, or the kid-next-door. It’s as real as the environment and as natural as sharing.
To get kids jazzed about birding.
Kids like to go birding because it's gratifying, challenging, and fun. Adults can join a conservation & educational organization like NJ Audubon which offers birding activities, a birding club, or nature center. Kids will discover that it is also a great way to network with other members of our species (including adults) with the same interest. Birding is an activity that adults can encourage because it involves outside activity (i.e. gets kids away from their video games and televisions) and has both an intellectual and a healthy social component.
When you put a binocular in the hands of a kid, you forge a link between them and the natural world, unleashing the power of WOW! Take one kid. Add one ordinary robin. Put the magical tool (binoculars) in their hands, and open their eyes. Just give them the key and they can unlock the magic of natural world.
It’s a portal that can lead them to a lifetime of conservation stewardship and a passion for nature. It instills an awareness and appreciation for the environment that will translate to a green persuasion when these young birders become voting adults. It’s an activity that will remain with them (and you) for a lifetime.
There are three periods in a person’s life when they are likely to become birders. The first is childhood. Birding demographics tells us the second chance is home ownership, and the third chance is when we reach the empty nest/retirement stage. Kids in particular naturally gravitate to nature when given half a chance. Suburbia is the place where our species and the natural world overlap, and it is where most youngsters discover the natural world.
But birds are everywhere - nature’s most obvious envoys. No matter where you are, you are no more than a few hundred feet from a bird.
Sheila Lego, Marketing Director
Marleen Murgitroyde, Tourism & Events Manager