Young Birders

White-throated Sparrow

Young birders are welcomed and encouraged to attend any Waterman Bird Club field trip or event that is open to the general public, and are welcome to become members of the club. RTWBC birders love to share their enthusiasm and knowledge with all newcomers, especially young people. However, young birders under the age of 12 should be accompanied by a parent, guardian, or older friend.

The New York State Young Birders Club

The Ralph T. Waterman Bird Club is a supporting Partner Club of the New York State Young Birders Club. NYSYBC, founded in 2007, is a special project of the New York State Ornithological Association (NYSOA). This club is for birders in New York State between the ages of 10 and 19, inclusive.

The New York State Young Birders Club conducts monthly field trips for its young members. These trips are hosted by NYSYBC Partner Clubs/Organizations around the state, offering young birders the opportunity to go birding with their peers in places they’ve never explored before. Many new friendships have been formed as young birders discover that there are indeed others in their own age group in New York State who share their passion for wild birds.

Adult volunteers guide and mentor the youth members of the club, provide transportation, and handle the many administrative tasks required to make the club a success and maximize its value to young birders, while giving their safety top priority at all times. Check out the NYSYBC website for the field trip schedule, writings, photos, and artwork by young birders, as well as membership forms.

Department of Environmental Conservation Summer Camps

Every year, the Waterman Bird Club sponsors several young people, age 11 – 17, to attend the DEC Environmental Education Summer Camps Program. The camps provide opportunities for young people to learn about forestry, aquatic life, general ecology, and human environmental impact. The camp program ensures campers a safe environment, great facilities, wholesome food, and a highly trained staff. There are four camp locations throughout New York State which accommodate different age groups. Information about the camps can be obtained at Go to “Education” and click on “Environmental Education Summer Camps.”

Applicants must be between 11 and 17 years of age. The Bird Club covers the cost of the fee for the camp; parents are responsible for transportation and other expenses. To be considered for sponsorship, applicants should contact Kelly Liao at or give their name to any Waterman Bird Club member. Names may be submitted at any time of year but well in advance of the summer season, as the process of selection is a lengthy one.